Early molt ...?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Paul 1952, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. Paul 1952

    Paul 1952 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 10, 2012
    Spokane Valley, WA
    Hi all,
    I've got one of our Black Stars that's having an issue, maybe natural, maybe not. She's only 7-8 months old and stopped laying about a week or so ago. Noticed feathers and such in the coop and her longer tail feathers scattered about and now on the back of her neck. Strikes me as a tad early for a molt so have checked for bugs and such, found none... she's been eating fine and seems plenty alert. Doesn't seem to be a case of being picked on and I've seen her cleaning and preening and working herself over...
    Just seems way too early for a molt so wondering what else I might need to look for? Any ideas?

    Here's her from the side, notice the short tail and a bit of feathers lacking on the back of the neck... she's the one farthest away here.

    [​IMG]

    And this one is a closer shot of the back of her neck....

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Nike

    Nike Young&Beautiful

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    Jul 8, 2012
    My Coop
    Nope! I think she's right on time! All of my hens are molting right now. They're growing in their winter feathers I believe.
    Your hens are so cute!
     
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Yep, she's molting. She'll start laying eggs again when she's done growing in feathers and gets her weight back to a healthy level.

    I've had some 9 month old pullets molt before - not the norm, but not uncommon either.
     
  4. Paul 1952

    Paul 1952 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 10, 2012
    Spokane Valley, WA
    Thanks you two ... that's pretty much what I thought. Just looking for some confirmation... and they are pretty cute! ;-)

    Here's another action shot ...


    [​IMG]
     
  5. Nike

    Nike Young&Beautiful

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    Cute! I love those hens that look like they have brown feathers, so pretty!
     
  6. Paul 1952

    Paul 1952 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 10, 2012
    Spokane Valley, WA
    yup, those are Red Stars... 3 Black Stars & 3 Red Stars is our little flock. And the molting girl seems to be pretty spry this morning... chasing the wild birds out of the yard and such. So pretty sure it's just a normal molt.
     

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