forced molting?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sheaviance1, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. sheaviance1

    sheaviance1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2010
    Back in March, I purchased chicks. They have been a joy and have been a healthy, easy flock to raise. We had our first snowstorm (if you consider less than 3 inches a snowstorm [​IMG] ) and most of the ladies acted scared to death to touch the stuff. Four of them got under the coop for bed the first night, and I left them there because I couldn't reach them. The next morning I checked on them, and they were still under the coop, but I was able to flush them out before work. Well, I am assuming the evil white stuff scared them again, and sometime (and I have to assume immediately) after I left, back under the coop they went. When I got home, there they were. I get home after dark everyday. Out comes the broom, flashlight, daughter, and me to get to work getting them out from under the coop. I tucked them in safely in the coop for the night. Now, in the days before this snowstorm, I have setup the heated base for their waterer because it was cold enough to freeze. I moved their waterer inside the coop, showed them where it was and have personally witnessed each one of them drink. I come home from work yesterday, surprisingly enough before dark, and one of the buff orpingtons has a naked neck. That fast. Fine one day, naked the next. I see no sign of injury. I asked my husband, who is home about two hours before dark every day, and he has not observed any sign of picking from the other girls. I have to assume that she was stressed by the "snowstorm" and that forced her into molting during her first winter. However, I am suspicious of something else, and I'd like an opinion from you. Since I have moved their water, their water usage has dropped a lot. I am getting a severe reduction in egg production (avg of 7 eggs a day has fallen to 2). Is it possible that they are not drinking because the water is in the coop now as opposed to outside? I took some water out there this morning in a shallow dish and put it outside. There was a stampede I tell you. They were drinking from the stream I was pouring. I personally showed everyone of them the new location of their water, is it possible that they "forgot"? If so, should I continue to carry fresh water out there every morning and take it up every evening so that I KNOW that they are drinking? I hate the idea that I wasted the money on this heated base, but if this is what I need to do I will. I don't know if they will figure it out on their own or not. Please let me know if you have had an experience like this. Thanks!
  2. KayP

    KayP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2008
    Baltimore, MD
    Yup. This sounds like what I just described in a new post. And, interestingly, we just had our first little snow on Thursday, and today, my Peep has a naked neck and back and is dropping feathers like crazy! I'm also waiting for someone who knows something about this. I don't think Peep has stopped drinking, so that's not a factor here. I hope our little naked girls don't catch a cold.
  3. sheaviance1

    sheaviance1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2010
    I hate her being nakey when it is this cold! The feathers, like your chicken's, seem to just be falling out on their own. She seems healthy still, eyes are bright, she doesn't feel hot, there is no irritation, no creepy crawlies, nothing wrong that I can see. I will just continue to take them fresh water in the morning (and repeatedly show them where the waterer is now located) and hope for the best. I hope you find the source of your forced molting. I think mine is a combination snow/water problem. Good luck!

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