Hen losing feathers

Bahr09

Chirping
10 Years
Jul 7, 2009
35
11
99
This spring i started my flock. One hen has had almost no feathers on her back since i got her, i assumed she was picked on or maybe it was rooster rash but she has yet to grow any feathers back and is now losing feathers from all over her body....with it getting cold i am worried she will not make it through winter and im just not sure what to do for her?? She is not friendly and i am unable to handle her. Any suggestions?
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,523
20,815
907
Southeast Louisiana
Where are you? How cold are you talking about? Many of us have had chickens go through temperatures well below freezing when they were practically bald due to the molt.

That could have been rooster rash. If the entire feather shaft comes out the feather will soon grow back, but if a bit of shaft is left it will not grow back until the molt. Since she is molting those feathers should now grow back.
 

Bahr09

Chirping
10 Years
Jul 7, 2009
35
11
99
I am in iowa so it gets pretty cold in winter. It hasnt been too bad so far, but there have been a couple days it has been 0° with wind chill.

Im glad to hear she should be growing new feathers soon! How long do molts typically last? This is my first time with a molting hen. Thanks for replying!
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,523
20,815
907
Southeast Louisiana
This article might help you. It explains a lot.

http://extension.msstate.edu/content/molting-laying-hens

A slow molting hen may take 5 months or more to grow all her feathers back but you have a fast molter if she is that bare. That article says two months from start to finish but I've seen it faster.

I don't do it but some people recommend increasing the protein some to help the feathers grow back faster. I don't know if it really helps or not but you can feed her a small handful of Black Oil Sunflower Seeds (BOSS). Those give a nice protein boost and the oil will give her more calories to generate heat internally. Plus the oil will hep make the feathers nice and shiny. That's a trick some people that show chickens use, give them some extra oil to make the feathers look nice.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,744
130,762
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
BOSS is pretty fatty, and animal protein is better IMO during the molt...
...canned mackerel, scrambled eggs, mealworms, meat scraps, etc.
 

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