In the Brooder
Apr 3, 2020
Greenville, SC USA
Our 5 layers-Golden Comets- have been getting a long fine since they were hatchlings in April 2020. Today, one is staying away from the others and a good number of feathers are gone from around her neck. We've not seen the bullying, but does it seem to be the most likely scenario? We don't know if it's bullying or if she is sick. Egg production has tapered off from 5 a day to 3 to 4 a day. We thought we would give them the natural winter rest and not force laying with a light.

I think they have plenty of room in the coop area - 4L x 7W x6H foot and another 6x9 run attached and a fenced yard of about 20x25 they get out in every day. One bad human behavior sometimes it is late morning before the husband lets them out into the yard. Are they being left in the main coop too long? They have plenty of ventilation.

I wondered about that as well, but I thought I read Golden Comets don't molt their first season, they're about 8 months old & the fact that she is giving the other 4 a very wide berth, unless that is what they do when they molt. She's the only one acting this way and they are all the same age.

Any possibility that she is molting ?
Some pullets do go through molt around 9 months or so, so that may be what you're seeing. Photos of the neck area can help ID (or if not, look for pin feathers poking out from the bare spots - that's a sure sign of molt).

If you're concerned that you're waking up too late to let them out in the morning, thus causing crowding/pecking problems, an easy solution to that is to install an autodoor. Mine is set to open at 7:45, we don't wake up for another hour past that.

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