Faded comb, stopped laying, what's up with my Orpington girl?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LoveOrpingtons, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. LoveOrpingtons

    LoveOrpingtons Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 25, 2012
    We have 3 Buff Orpington ladies, almost 8 months old (Matilda, Scarlett and Ginger). Two started laying steadily 2 months ago. Ginger has not started yet, but she is not my concern. Scarlett, who started laying first and was the most beautiful of our girls with a huge floppy comb, suddenly stopped laying about a month ago, right about the time our nights started to get cold. Her previously beautiful huge, red comb seems faded and has shrunk to a more short spike like Gingers, our non-layer. The feathers around her face seem to be sparse (short and sharp is how I would now describe them).
    I have been told everything from she is just having stress because of our weather being kind of wierd; cold at night and unseasonably warm in the day (we live in Utah), to a possible early mini molt (she is losing some feathers, but not profusely), and I was told it could be mites (so, I dusted all 3 birds last night). Our other layer is laying every day and she NOW has the biggest, reddest comb of the 3, if that matters.
    Scarlett acts fine other than not laying and her appearance change.
    Any ideas or suggestions is greatly appreciated as we are worried about our red headed girl. We are new to the backyard chicken world and learning as we grow.
    p.s. They all have a nice insulated coop to stay in at night and are loving having the free range of our entire back yard for a little over a month now, also.
    Sally - LoveOrpingtons
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Orps can handle cold quite well. I'd say she is molting and the shorter daylength is what's up.
    I notice their combs aren't bright red when molting.
     
  3. Nike

    Nike Young&Beautiful

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    I agree! Sounds like she's molting. All of my older girls began molting about a month ago too and they are all a little pale with no eggs.
     
  4. LoveOrpingtons

    LoveOrpingtons Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 25, 2012
    Thank you both for your response. I feel much better and will just wait for her to finish [​IMG]. Glad it's nothing to worry about.
    Sally
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Keep in mind that a molt can shut them down for a while so be patient.
     
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Very odd for an 8 month pullet to moult though.
     

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