Hen losing feathers - molting in Feb in Maine?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lori925, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. lori925

    lori925 In the Brooder

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    Aug 24, 2013
    Jackson, Maine
    Hello - We are new to chickens and only have 3 girls; one Black Australorp and 2 New Hampshire Reds. They are about 10 months old. My black girl has started losing a bunch of feathers - it looks like they are the downy feathers around her butt, but I can't tell for sure. She is not bald, just looks "less fluffy" and the feathers I'm finding on the ground are short and fluffy. Is this a type of molting or should I be worried? It's mid-Feb in Maine - doesn't seem like this is a good time to lose your warm coat. This is their first winter. They live in a barn - they have it all to their selves. We feed them mash. They also get cracked corn, oatmeal, tomatoes and black sunflower seeds. Thank you in advance.
     
  2. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    Hi there! Young hens entering their first winter may do a partial molt; two of mine did. One in January (funny enough, my Australorp), and one in Feb... a most inconvenient time of year for the cold states! So, yes, it's very possible it's a partial molt. I would not worry about her getting cold unless she develops bare areas; leaving her in the barn, she is sheltered from wind and the elements and will be okay.

    You may want to check them, if you can, to see if you can find any other problems, just in case it is something more than a harmless molt. It's also possible one of the others is picking on her, though if you give them the whole barn and there are only 3 hens, it's less likely than if they were in a small coop.
     
  3. lori925

    lori925 In the Brooder

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    Aug 24, 2013
    Jackson, Maine
    Other than finding all the feathers, they are acting fine. I seems that the majority of feathers are in their sleeping area. I will keep an eye on her. Thank you so much!
     

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