Help with molting

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by csk021, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. csk021

    csk021 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 22, 2008
    Grand Rapids, MI
    I have 9 hens that are a year and a half old. 4 are Buff Orpingtons and 5 are Austrlorps. Last summer and fall (once they started laying) i had awesome egg laying - about 7 or 8 average per day. This summer it seemed to be more like 3-4 average. In the past month i noticed a lot of black feathers laying around the yard and it dawned on me that none of them had molted yet (or so i assumed). I only notice the Buff's in the nesting boxes right now so i'm assuming they are the only girls supplying me with my 4 eggs per day. Only one of the 5 Australorps has had noticeable feather loss. Is it possible that you wouldn't notice a hen molting? I'm wondering if the Buff's molted over the summer and that's why the slack in egg production started this past spring. Then when they picked up the Australorp's started molting? I'm just confused because i have only noticed this one hen with considerable feather loss. The others look normal - just not laying eggs. And the one with feather loss is growing in fine now so i'm sure it's not mites or anything else. I am supplementing with some artificial light and they get to free range about half the week (although they are in a tractor that gets moved regularly). Any advice?
     
  2. hcammack

    hcammack Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 5, 2007
    Vermont
    If you catch them and look under and see pin feathers thats a molt to. Not all molts are really visable and bad its actually less of a shock on the hens system to have a longer molt. Hope they snap out of it an give you more eggs though.
     
  3. This is the season for molting. I have noticed a defined growing amount of feathers in the barn.

    Some birds loose all of a section of feathers and then PIN hard.

    For instance, my wild roo lost his entire butt feathers and then they came in about a month later (he looked really dumb)

    Broody's will loose their breast feathers.

    Molting takes a lot of energy from the bird so do not be alarmed if you see them hanging about listless.
     

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