bare spots near tail feathers, very low egg count..

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by trunkman, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. trunkman

    trunkman Songster

    Dec 26, 2009
    Rock Hill SC
    My one and two year old hens egg laying has been very low for the past 2 months, which seems odd since last year they laid heavily till November. Anyway, out of the 25 hens 9 of them have had the feathers just before the tail missing since about July which I thought was early for the molt, I'm wondering if it could be something else. I'm thinking it could be mites, if so, what can I give them to get rid of them? Getting 4 to 6 eggs a day from that many hens doesn't seem right, at least this time year. Help!! [​IMG]

  2. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    Do you have a rooster?

    No eggs, missing feathers.. I think your hens are molting. It's the time of year for that.
  3. trunkman

    trunkman Songster

    Dec 26, 2009
    Rock Hill SC
    Yes I do, I also forgot to mention or ask, does the rooster also molt, he has some balding just below his wattle at the neck line...
  4. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

    Jul 29, 2012
    Oregon City, OR
    My Coop
    Yes they do. I had to put one of my girls int rehab pen because he wore a bald spot and then tore her skin with a claw. He doesn't have his spurs yet.

  5. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    Yes, all birds molt in both genders. Some more gradual than others. What is most likely happening is that they are molting, and your rooster is mating them and they aren't feathering in fast in those areas because he is wearing out any new feathers that sprout. That's my theory. :)
  6. anitaschmidt

    anitaschmidt Hatching

    Sep 15, 2011
    I have the exact same concern but I don't have a rooster. I think they did molt but the feathers are not growing in yet. I went to the feed store and they told me to sprinkle some Diatomaceous Earth under their wings and let to let them dust bathe in it. It is supposed to be safer than the poultry dust, which I had been putting on the floor of the coop each week before I lay down new chips. I just put the DE on them today. I have been keeping their bald bottoms clean with an Iodine and water solution. I am not sure why mine are laying so few eggs other than the cold snap here in Illinois. The days are getting rapidly shorter as well. These girls are one year old. Our last flock layed all winter long. I will be watching for other suggestions. Good luck!
  7. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    In your case they are molting for sure. Some don't feather back as quickly as others. Typically hens should not lay during their molt. I have some that do, even though they are in their 3rd year.

    Spring chickens will lay through their first winter (not all, but most).

    Feed your hens a lot of protein now. Any leftover meat, mealworms, etc to promote feather growth. I like to keep my birds on a high protein feed through the winter. It is more expensive, but it keeps them nice and plump and healthy for the winter to battle the winter extremes :)

  8. trunkman

    trunkman Songster

    Dec 26, 2009
    Rock Hill SC
    Thanks for the replies everyone![​IMG]

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