HARD Molting hen, pin feathers not opening at end

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by tigger19687, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. tigger19687

    tigger19687 Songster

    So I have not seen this before so bad
    1 hen is having a REAL HARD molt, ok no biggie. But it is Super chilly here (Teens over night, 30's daytime).
    On her back and a section on her side is a big swath of no feathers and Pin feathers coming out. About 1.5-2" long pointy.
    My issue is that the ends are Not opening up like they have done before. They are pointy.

    Now maybe it is just that it is such a wide open area, with no other feathers covering it, that it is more noticeable. I am sure this is it but I am a bit concerned about the cold weather.

    They are dry and happy, eating & drinking. No one fighting as they all (but the low totem pole girl) are molting.
    They are getting Feather fixer for the past almost month, mixed with their Layer.
    Flock block cracked up & cracked corn everywhere in the covered run every 3 to 5 days for them to shift and peck for in the straw.
    I am going to give some warmed up wet cat food (cat won't eat it) as a treat tonight for all.

    At what length of Pin Feathers should I get worried if they are still not opening at the end ?

    Watch, I will go out there now and the end will be opening making me look like an idiot.... they seem to like to do that to me.
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  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Waiting on a Fresh Garden Salad

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    It can sometimes take until the whole feather is grown in. I believe the chickens themselves open up the sheaths to release the feathers. A hard molting bird sometimes don't want those feathers touched. I would guess as it starts to feel less uncomfortable there will be more grooming by the bird.

    I too have a few going through a late hard molt. They aren't happy birds currently.
  3. tigger19687

    tigger19687 Songster

    Thanks. Our Late Autumn was hot then chilly then hot then chilly, but warmer all around. I think that is why the other 3 waited to molt and my 1 picked on girl was the first to molt and be finished.
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    It will get better, if they are active, don't worry.
    sourland likes this.
  5. tigger19687

    tigger19687 Songster

    Still pointy.
    I just feel bad because the skin is so red.

    They are happy to get warmed feed tonight :)
    Ducksandchickens likes this.
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    In my experience hard molts when it is cold cause the pin feathers to grow somewhat more rapidly than normal. As a result it takes longer for them to mature and lose the sheaths. Sounds as if all is good with your flock. Keep them dry, well fed and draft free and 'this too shall pass'.
    oldhenlikesdogs likes this.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Could it just be the cold weather making the sheaths harder?
    Have you tried to preen one to see how easily it comes off?
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
  8. tigger19687

    tigger19687 Songster

    hard to be Draft free when they are running around the Run area... lol
  9. tigger19687

    tigger19687 Songster

    I had not tried to play with it because in my researching it (before asking) it said that they are very sensitive.
    Fri is going to be in the low-Mid 40's so I will get a towel and wrap her up and see if I can play with them.
    I just looked tonight but it does Not look like the ends are starting to split or anything. looks like a Porcupine ! lol
    She is happy, eating and running around.
    It is just so weird, I have never seen anything like it.
    I will get a pic tomorrow if she will let me
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Yeah, they are but I've done it and they seem to like it....just at the tip and don't go for too long.

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