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Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by JACspivey, Oct 27, 2016.
Her neck feathers are thin. Is she molting or is there something wrong?
Looks likes a moult to me, especially with those pin feathers. The majority of chickens, not all, start the moult process on the head and neck.
That's a relief. I thought molt too with the pin feathers coming out like that. I just wanted to be proactive and take care of whatever might have been wrong. Thanks Teila
Hey, no problemo JACspivey
Have you been through a moult before? Know all the do's and don'ts?
If not, I can provide a few tips, but did not want to ramble on now with someone who knows the drill
I have not. We are first time chicken owners and all four of mine are 8 months old. Any advice is welcomed
Hey there JACspivey
8 months is not usually an age chickens moult but it is not unheard of. I believe November is moult season for the US and some chickens let the season and decrease in daylight hours dictate, rather than their age.
My first experience with a moult, I left for work and everyone was OK, I came home to black feathers everywhere and Dusty looking like this:
She was hiding under the coop and I thought something had attacked her and I raced to pick her up and check her over, first mistake and first lesson. When they are moulting the pin feathers are very sensitive, so the less handling the better. You may find that your hen may be a little miserable and may keep her distance from the flock. Wind or drafts are definitely not a moulting chicken’s friend.
Depending on the severity of the moult, her egg laying may slow down or completely stop.
I recommend lots of TLC and an increase in protein which is the main ingredient in feathers [Keratin]. Some recommended sources of protein are below but the treats should still be kept to around 5% of their diet, just higher in protein:
Boiled or scrambled eggs.
Sardines or Tuna.
Beef and chicken [yeah, I know ]
Pumpkin and Sunflower seeds.
If the whole flock is moulting, you could consider switching to a higher protein feed. Most layer feeds are around 16% protein and you can get some feather grower feeds with 20-25% protein.
That's some great info. They absolutely love sunflower seeds, so I'm on the way to get a bag now. She started laying about two months ago, some huge brown, delicious eggs, but for the past few weeks she hasn't laid any. I just thought it was hormones kicking in because they aren't supposed to be laying till next month anyway. That leads me to my next question...since three of the four have started laying only my Orpington and Brahma are still laying, and even then the brahma has gone to one or two eggs a week. My Orpington will lay around four or five a week. Anything there I should be worried about?
I do not think so. I am is Aus so we have already been through our winter and moult egg drought and coming out the other side in preparation for summer.
In the US you are heading into your winter with shorter daylight hours?
If you have not already done so, it would probably be a good idea to join a thread from your area where you can chat to people in similar seasons etc and where you might also find that their egg count has dropped.
A quick search of BYC revealed this one that seems pretty active:
Thanks so much for the advice. I'll check out the link and hope you guys have a good summer.