Help - Is This a Hard Molt, Mites or Illness?

Dbazan1

In the Brooder
Nov 11, 2018
4
5
11
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Good evening, I’m hoping your experience and wisdom will be a help to me in figuring out what’s going on with our Bantum Rosecomb Hen. She’s about 4-6 years old, and is housed with one silkie hen of the same age. Both have been happy and healthy all these years with regular molts at the appropriate times. The only change in their lives recently is the introduction of several new roosters to a coop near the horse corral, which is near our coop - the roosters don’t have access to our hens though.

We did however try to introduce a sweet young silkie rooster into our coop with our two girls after they got along so well during a few days of free range roaming around with him to see how they’d do. The two silkies got along beautifully, but our Rosecomb didn’t seem to like the rooster being in the coop and was hen-pecking him, so we removed him and put him back with the other roosters.

The chicken eggs have been coming out with a poor quality, some very thin, and we ended up with our first tiny little fairy egg too. Then her feathers started falling out, so we thought she was molting, but now she looks truly awful, so we’re scared that she might be sick. No indication of mites or disease in any of the poultry in our barn area, and her coop mate appears full feathered and perfectly healthy so far.

I’ve ordered some oyster shells and dried mealworms, and have ground some oats and raw nuts and sunflower seeds too, which I started offering to her today for extra protein.

So what do y’all think might be going on here? I posted a pix of our Rosecomb from today, and one from earlier this year of her with our white silkie. I’d appreciate any and all thoughts! This is our first set of hens, and we have really enjoyed them! Thank you so much...
 
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Dbazan1

In the Brooder
Nov 11, 2018
4
5
11
Looks like a molt. What protein percentage is your ration? Switching to a higher protein ration is better than too many extras which are fattening.
Hmmm, I'll have to check the packaging. She's on a regular layer feed that comes in a super large bag from our local feed store. Is the protein content listed on the hen feed bags? If so, is there a certain protein percentage I should be looking for? I've read that offering them some extra starter feed that is for baby chicks might be a good idea, as it's suppose to be higher in protein as well. Our local feed store isn't open until Tuesday, so I ordered the oyster shells & mealworms on Amazon to be delivered to us tomorrow. I also read that they love to eat fish, cooked eggs, and even chicken, which could all be offered to increase protein to help them through the molt. Does this sound like a good idea or not? Thank you!!!!
 

Big Red Roosters

Songster
Nov 7, 2018
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United States of America
Oh wow!!! That gives me hope for my little girl!! Does this seem like a normal molt for your hen, or is it different than her normal molts in the past? Thank you!!!
I've only had her 2 years, last year she didn't really visibly molt, but this year all my chickens molted very harshly. With the worst being my Cochin hen. I'm wondering now if it has to do with the winter... winter came early here. How's the weather where you are? Everyone came out of the molt perfect, so I think your girl will be just fine. :)
 

Dbazan1

In the Brooder
Nov 11, 2018
4
5
11
I've only had her 2 years, last year she didn't really visibly molt, but this year all my chickens molted very harshly. With the worst being my Cochin hen. I'm wondering now if it has to do with the winter... winter came early here. How's the weather where you are? Everyone came out of the molt perfect, so I think your girl will be just fine. :)
We’re in Southern California, so for us it’s been super hot, with very dry air, and really bad fires about an hour away from us. I’m thinking for our hen it’s related to all the new baby roosters that the family who owns the barn brought in. I’m hoping it’s just a bad molt, she’s usually got the most beautiful feathers and wins awards at my son’s 4-H Club Fair every year. Hope yours are all well too!
 

Wyorp Rock

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Sep 20, 2015
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I've read that offering them some extra starter feed that is for baby chicks might be a good idea, as it's suppose to be higher in protein as well. Our local feed store isn't open until Tuesday, so I ordered the oyster shells & mealworms on Amazon to be delivered to us tomorrow. I also read that they love to eat fish, cooked eggs, and even chicken, which could all be offered to increase protein to help them through the molt. Does this sound like a good idea or not?
I agree with @oldhenlikesdogs she is molting. Great picture by the way:)
You can give her (and the others if you wish) the Chick Starter. A small amount of fish, eggs, chicken, etc. is fine too. Mealworms will also provide extra protein - remember, everything in moderation.

Oyster shells are for added Calcium so offer those free choice, they will take what they need. Hopefully that will help with the egg quality.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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Hmmm, I'll have to check the packaging. She's on a regular layer feed that comes in a super large bag from our local feed store. Is the protein content listed on the hen feed bags? If so, is there a certain protein percentage I should be looking for? I've read that offering them some extra starter feed that is for baby chicks might be a good idea, as it's suppose to be higher in protein as well. Our local feed store isn't open until Tuesday, so I ordered the oyster shells & mealworms on Amazon to be delivered to us tomorrow. I also read that they love to eat fish, cooked eggs, and even chicken, which could all be offered to increase protein to help them through the molt. Does this sound like a good idea or not? Thank you!!!!
I have fed my bantam flock a non medicated grower year round for years, they do great on it. I always have a separate bowl of oyster shells for the calcium needs. I didn't think my birds did well fed a layer, so I no longer feed one.

My chickens go nuts for scrambled eggs and cottage cheese. So definitely offer some of those things and see how it goes. Black oil sunflower seeds are good but they can cause internal fat which isn't a good thing so go easy on them.
 

Birdsong 82

Crowing
Aug 17, 2017
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Looks like my Rosalie. I agree I think it’s just a hard molt. Poor Rosalee looks even worse now. Meal worms fish even tuna and eggs can be good protein boosters. Or a more protein rich food. I’ll be in nutrients including protein should be listed on the bag of feed
 

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