Can my Welsummer be in a molt for 7 months?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by marnold, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. marnold

    marnold Out Of The Brooder

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    I have one Welsummer and 2 Buffs that are 16 months old. My Welsummer lost her downy feathers around her vent in January (at 8 months) and didn't start laying until February ( at 9 months). Then she started losing feathers on her back at the base of her tail (saddle?). But all the time continuing to lay 3-4 eggs per week. I thought the Buffs were picking on her (pulling feathers) because she definitely seemed to be at the bottom of the pecking order. In June, she was completely bare butted and bare backed, her tail feathers looked like they were shredded and she stopped laying. I augmented their diet with cottage cheese to add protein. All summer the Buffs went in and out of broodiness with one of them staying broody for a good 6 weeks, no matter what I did to try to break her of it. While she spent all of her time on the nest, the Welsummer started getting pinfeathers and is now all feathered in except for her tail (it was the last to go). Is it just coincidence that her feathers grew back when Betty was on the nest being hormonal?

    Has anyone experienced such a long molt with a chicken and will she start laying again? Or is something not quite right with my girl?
     
  2. thebanthams

    thebanthams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you have a rooster? thats what they do when they mate.
     
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    My Coop
    If you have a rooster, the balding by the base of the tail is from overmating. It happens with the "favorite" girls.

    After they grow their feathers back in from molting, it takes a while to get their body weight back up before they can lay eggs again. Growing feathers in takes a lot of protein.
     
  4. marnold

    marnold Out Of The Brooder

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    No roosters, just the three girls! Also, I need some advice on moving the girls. We have purchased a new house across town and want any advice on temporary, inexpensive housing for the girls while we take apart and move their coop. Any ideas? I
     
  5. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How long is temporary? A few days or a few weeks?
     
  6. marnold

    marnold Out Of The Brooder

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    I am hoping only a few days to maybe 1 week. We close on our present home and the new home on the same day. The coop has to be down before we close on our present home but can't be up until we close on our new home.....There are definitely logistics that could hold it up for hopefully not longer than a week.
     
  7. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have done transport and temporary bird storage in a extra large dog crate before. The coated metal wirey kind. I used it because I already had it (I also use it as my sick chicken hospital wing and new chicken quarantine room). With only three birds it could work, definitely not more than that, but not for long and you would want to let them out for a little break and yard time daily if possible.

    They are expensive new but people sell them on craigslist a lot at a more reasonable price and if you don't want to keep it after I'm sure you could re-craigslist it for the same price you bought it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012

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