Hen Won't Moult

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by GardenerGal, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,214
    41
    186
    Dec 20, 2008
    Massachusetts
    I have a white leghorn hen that is probably at least two years old, and in the more than 1.5 years I've had her, she has never moulted. She was a "rescue" bird I adopted in March 2010 and now it's November 2011 and she still has the feathers she came with.

    She looks like one of McMurray's "Pearl" high productivity leghorns, and I am wondering whether there is some genetic issue going on, that might have been part of their developing a longlaying hen. Her feathers are getting ratty and she has a lot of bald areas now, including her belly. I'm starting to worry. She doesn't regrow any of the feathers she has lost through grooming.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. NanaLantana

    NanaLantana Chillin' With My Peeps

    360
    0
    99
    Feb 7, 2011
    Lantana, Florida
    Make sure you give her some protein.
    Takes a lot of protein to re-grow feathers.
     
  3. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,214
    41
    186
    Dec 20, 2008
    Massachusetts
    Yes, she gets plenty of protein. In fact, she eats the same diet as my 30 other chickens, none of whom have problems moulting. They all get layer pellets, plus supplementary snacks that have protein.

    I'm baffled. I am guessing it is a genetic problem, as these birds are marketed as laying longer than typical laying hens. I suspect that there is some mutation involved, that delays moults in favor of laying. We all know that hens use a lot of energy to lay eggs, and if they are bred to keep laying then they will not have energy to moult. But 2 years????? I hope she has a normal moult this season.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by