Chicken suddenly moulting heavily in northern IL winter?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sue3, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. sue3

    sue3 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 17, 2008
    One of our banty hens has suddenly lost 3/4 or more of her feathers in the last few days! It looks like an extremely heavy moult all the sudden? We are in northern Illinois and I have never seen this happen in the many years that we have had chickens. We are putting her in the warm basement for now, but are sure wondering what is the matter. It has been cold here so not like a sudden warm up to have fooled her system. She had seemed healthy and normal up until this happened. Does anyone know what might have happened. We just have one other hen right now and she is fully feathered.
  2. juliawitt

    juliawitt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 9, 2009
    I am in SW Missouri and one of my older hens is losing her feathers around her neck and vent. All I can think of is late moult. It was extremely cold for our area and now we have had several days of warm weather......I have posted for suggestions under the title of "moult?" to see what others think. She has also quit laying......[​IMG] She is eating and seems perky so I am trying not to worry.
  3. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2009
    I have a hen going through a molt right now. Poor thing....the weather the past 3 weeks has been cold and windy. The chickens have a draft free coop with a sweeter heater that keeps it around 30degrees but I am still worried about her. I think a molt and the cold is too much stress for her so I'm giving her a few more treats and extra protein via scrambled eggs and very well cooked beans. I did read that cat food is high in protein and a olting hen can be given 5 or 6 pieces of food a day but I'm still considering that.

    Someone else on the forum suggested supplimenting her food with calf manna. It's a high protein calf food that is in pellet form. I'm still researching this product to see if I feel comfortable giving it to her.

    Just some suggestions for you.
  4. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    Up their protein level. It will help get their feathers growing again faster.
  5. the Old Rebel

    the Old Rebel Rest in Peace -2011

    May 12, 2007
    Hendersonville NC
    I have a little hen that drops all her feathers at once and runs around naked for a few days until they come back in. Usually she does it when the weather is still warm enough for her to be safe, but if it is cold, I bring her inside. Hadn't thought about the extra protein in her diet, but that is a good idea.

    Let us know is it is a late moult or if it turns out to be something else.
  6. dappertophatter

    dappertophatter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2008
    The Jersey Shore
    My girls just finished molting. [​IMG]

    She'll be OK. My kids' poultry leader said that hers just finished too- hers and ours don't really molt in spring, just lose a handful or so, but blow out allllll their feathers in winter. Either all our chickens are weird, or it's completely normal. [​IMG] If you can't find anything wrong with her (lice, mites, etc.), don't worry.
  7. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    If it is that bad, maybe one of those hen's coats will be needed! [​IMG]
  8. Roy

    Roy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 20, 2007
    Central Illinois
    I live in central Illinois, some of my girls just finished molting, others still don't have all of their feathers back yet. Seems like a late molt to me, but, they all seem to be doing fine...

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by