Half-completed molt?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Neilette, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. Neilette

    Neilette Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    One of my chickens stopped molting halfway through her last molt in the Autumn. She has been covered with pinfeathers for months and she's still wearing half of last year's ratty feathers. Some of the new feathers that did start to grow in are only partial-length as though they were in the middle of a healthy molt, but haven't budged in months. When I got her last Spring her wings had both been completely chopped off - primaries AND secondary flight feathers - and I have been waiting impatiently for her to drop them and regrow beautiful new full wings for a year now. Her flock mates, who were treated the same way by their keeper, have regrown an entire new set of feathers.

    She DID return to laying about the time her molt paused, and I suspect that "rebooting" her by dropping her daylight length for a few days might do the trick. I am considering setting her up in a separate pen with a light timer. Thoughts??

    She is a 2 year-old Speckled Sussex (pictured below). At the time of her molt the coop was not lit; not even for months until recently after all of the other chickens were done molting completely (and I just couldn't wait any longer for eggs!).

    Tail feathers are missing. Her underside is full of pinfeathers.
    [​IMG]

    Only a couple of flight feathers have dropped and grown back.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. JerseyGiantfolk

    JerseyGiantfolk Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 12, 2012
    Sometimes stress, illness/parasites, or lack of nutrition will slow down feather growth. Make sure she is getting enough food (is she the lowest on the pecking order?), check her for parasites and possibly start a vitamin supplement in her water (e.g. Poly-vi-sol).
     
  3. Neilette

    Neilette Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    She is one of the top birds in the pecking order and is a great forager, so I don't suspect nutrition deficiencies...I feed them a high-quality Organic pelleted layer feed and the flock free-ranges during the day. There are no signs of external parasite eggs, and they ingest DE with their food to prevent internal parasites. If it was nutritional, wouldn't she be laying poorly? Instead, she is one of my best layers and has been all winter. Curious.
     

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