Hens are looking rough

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sphillips, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. sphillips

    sphillips Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 18, 2013
    New Mexico
    Hello everyone! It's been awhile since I've posted, but have a question about my hens. Over the summer they looked wonderful, shiny feathers, etc. Now, they all started getting bald butts first, then showed bald patches on their wings. Now they are losing feathers on their necks, and have 'fluff' feathers appearing underneath their adult ones. Some have lost all their tail feathers. The hens are about 9 months old, and was thinking they may be moulting, but since this will be my first experience with that, I'm not sure if that's what I'm seeing. The exposed skin looks healthy, they are eating, drinking, and laying eggs. Egg production has come off a bit, but I attribute that to the shorter days. Any suggestions as to what this is would be greatly appreciated. I have White Leghorns, Barred Plymouth Rocks, Rhode Island Reds, and Golden Wyandottes. 15 hens in a 140 sq ft coop, with a 360 sq ft run.
  2. Sound like their molting.
  3. They always look scroungy when they molt.
  4. It definitely sounds like they are molting. Nothing big to worry about, but because they are loosing their feathers and growing new, you should provide them with more protein. This will help ease them through the process, along with quickening it and providing them with the extra nutrition needed. A good, quick way I give my chickens extra protein during their molt, is cat food. Use this as a supplement and they will thank you. You can also use fish, hard-cooked eggs, sesame seeds, and mealworms.

    Hope that helps!

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