Hen losing feathers in winter, not molting... What should I do?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by yogi4peace, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. yogi4peace

    yogi4peace New Egg

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    Apr 10, 2014
    Hi,

    I have a flock of 3 hen's. 1 of them started losing feathers this week. Like, a lot of feathers. It is November in Northern California and the temperature has dropped from 100's to 60's (Fahrenheit), so I don't think she is molting.

    I have observed them during the daytime and it doesn't look like any of the other birds are picking on her or pecking at her.

    Her behavior and energy levels appear to be normal.

    I am going to look for mites and lice when I get home tonight. Is there anything else I should do or watch out for? Any tips or tricks on diagnosing this and helping her are greatly appreciated!

    - Yogi 4 Peace
     
  2. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 21, 2015
    SE Texas
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    If your hen is over a year old, she is probably molting. Molting rarely has to do with temperature--usually the loss of daylight hours triggers the annual fall molt. Some hens molt early (my Welsumer hen started molting in September this year) and some molt later (I have had chickens still molting in December). Checking for mites/lice is always a good idea. You may want to feed them extra protein to help them grow their feathers back quicker.
     
  3. yogi4peace

    yogi4peace New Egg

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    Apr 10, 2014
    Thank you for your response!

    How many times a year is normal for them to molt?
    Should the whole flock molt together?


    I ask, because I think they have all molted together at the beginning of summer / end of spring of this year ... I thought it was only once annually.
     
  4. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 21, 2015
    SE Texas
    Various things can trigger an unusual molt, but usually it is once a year after their first year of life. And no, the whole flock does not necessarily molt at once. How old are your hens?
     
  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I'm in central CA, the birds don't care that it's November! My flock starts molting the end of summer and there's always a few stragglers that are still molting, or even that start molting, in November.
     

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