Couple of questions about molt/lice etc

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by pixiedouglas, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. pixiedouglas

    pixiedouglas Chillin' With My Peeps

    My hens were all born either this last spring or summer so none of them are a year old yet. It looks like some of them are molting, and some of them aren't. The ones who are molting seemed to have started their molt kind of late its more winter now than fall. Do pullets commonly molt in the 1st year?

    We've been powdering the hens every two weeks the last six weeks or so because I noticed that a couple of the heavily feathered girls had some poultry lice and a few eggs. It was only a couple of the hens and the rest were clean, but we cleaned out the whole coop and powdered everyone and dusted the nest boxes and interior of the coop just to be on the safe side. My question here is, I haven't seen one single lice on any bird ever since the first dusting, but some of the hens still have egg sacs on the base of the feather so we've kept dusting. We already decided to keep dusting the girls periodically as a preventative, but the egg sacs are bugging me (no pun intended) even though I can't find any living lice and I have LOOKED. Will those just never fall off until they molt those feathers?

    Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions!
  2. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    Quote:Answer to the molt chickens molt for a variety of reasons. Climate change, weather change, temperature change and as long as any of the prior mentioned things happen there is a chance the chickens will molt. Do they do a complete molt, I think not. Example they can shed a larger top feather to grow for heavier down feather base DPI (density per inch) the colder it is the more down they fill with and then as they get hotter or colder the have the option to let out heat or close the top feathers and keep the heat in for warmth. As long as the conditions change they continue to adjust to it.

    The lice and mites when the winter is here look for a warm host in all birds and animals. You did the right thing but instead of you making it a job for you let them dust bath themselves. Ash works as well as DE just mix ash and DE to sand 13/ to 2/3 in a tub or dig a hole in the girls favorite area and empty it and fill it with the mix and they will bath in it and kill it for you. AS regarding the egg sack I can not tell you bc I do not know and would rather say it. Is there a local bird vet in the area and maybe they can give you the answer. If they do hatch however the DE will kill the hatchlings for sure. Good luck and Happy Holidays [​IMG]

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