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Chicken Pattern Baldness

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lknight, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. lknight

    lknight Out Of The Brooder

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    May 7, 2008
    Western Washington
    Some of my girls are loosing feathers! Ack! They are only 10 months old, so they shouldn't be molting yet should they? It isn't every bird, some are loosing feathers in their saddle area, and I know that this can have to do with a rough rooster, but a few others have some balding on their neck and chest.

    They have been together for 8 months, so nothing new has been introduced, no one appears ill, upon inspection of one of the hens I could catch I didn't see any noticable skin issues (e.g. bugs, or redness). I was getting 8-10 eggs a day last week, and this week I am getting 2-3 a day!

    I am just looking for some possible answers as to what might be going on, and what I might be able to do to stop/help/prevent it.

    Thank you!
     
  2. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Sounds like they are molting. Are you finding tons of feathers everywhere, especially in the coop? They will stop laying, or slow down anyway, when they are molting. It's just their way of growing beautiful, new feathers.
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Nothing you can do to prevent a moult from happening. I upped their protein to help mine grow in the new feathers as fast as possible.
     
  4. lknight

    lknight Out Of The Brooder

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    May 7, 2008
    Western Washington
    So at 10 months old they are not too young to be molting? I read several post where peoples chickens were just having their 1st at 18 months... SO many new things to learn!
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Mine went thru what I'm told is a mini-moult right around 8 months old and not all of them did. At about that time I was reading alot of threads where others were seeing the same thing in the 7 to 8 month range. They looked pretty pitiful, so I'm not looking forward to the 18 month one.
     
  6. Laskaland

    Laskaland ThE gRoOvY cHiCkEn

    Aug 2, 2008
    Nebraska
    I am going with the rough rooster angle. They can rubb off the neck and damage toe combs too
    Watch them for a little while and see what you see.
    I would still up the protein, but you may need to saddle the girls. It helped mine.
    Hugs and good luck!
    Christina
     
  7. I'M On Island Time

    I'M On Island Time Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 23, 2008
    Chain O'Lakes IL
    I think it might depend on the breed. I had some birds molt their first winter at around 9-10 months, and then some didn't molt until they were close to 2 years old.

    The ones that did it in the middle of winter survived just fine, and are still around at 3 years old and happily laying! Hopefully they will pass on this hardiness to the chicks in the spring.

    Just make sure they stay warm enough (above freezing) and don't bother trying to touch them--they will scream bloody murder. I am sure it is uncomfortable with all of those little quills sticking through their skin. My girls that molt are just miserable for a few weeks and mope around entirely.
     
  8. ebonykawai

    ebonykawai Chillin' With My Peeps

    All of mine had a mini moult at 8 months, as well.
     
  9. mylilchix

    mylilchix Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think my 7 month old flock is going through a mini molt. I have several hens and my roo who are missing feathers at the front of their necks right under there wattles. Does this sound about right for an early molt? I also have one who is missing some tail feathers. I bought a 50lb. bag of BOS yesterday to up their protein, and they've been eating them like I've been starving them [​IMG]!!

    Sonja
     

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