Hens molting and still laying...

abbyness

In the Brooder
Feb 8, 2017
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39
I have at least 4 hens that are molting like crazy and still laying eggs so they aren’t producing new feathers. It’s been at least a few months now and I’ve given more oyster shells and changed feed to a feather fixer. Has this happened to anyone else? What should I do?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Waiting for Autumn
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Jul 16, 2015
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There is often a pre molt before the true molt. A true molt will include wing feathers and tail. It is possible for hens to lay through a molt if their diet and reserves are adequate.

What I often see is birds starting to molt than they stop laying within the month. I've also seen birds grow back all missing feathers, than molt fully. Molting is an individual thing and all birds seem to do it their way.
 

aart

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still laying eggs so they aren’t producing new feathers.
So you are seeing no new pin feathers emerging, just feathers dropping all over the ground?


changed feed to a feather fixer
What was your old feed?
'Feather Fixer' is just higher protein(18%) than most layer feeds,
with same calcium(~3-4%) as most layer feeds,
not the magic it's name implies.
 

abbyness

In the Brooder
Feb 8, 2017
10
3
39
So you are seeing no new pin feathers emerging, just feathers dropping all over the ground?



What was your old feed?
'Feather Fixer' is just higher protein(18%) than most layer feeds,
with same calcium(~3-4%) as most layer feeds,
not the magic it's name implies.

I see a few new feather pins but not a whole lot. My old feed was a 16% layer feed. That’s good to know about the feather fixer. Do you suggest going back to a layer feed?
 

abbyness

In the Brooder
Feb 8, 2017
10
3
39
There is often a pre molt before the true molt. A true molt will include wing feathers and tail. It is possible for hens to lay through a molt if their diet and reserves are adequate.

What I often see is birds starting to molt than they stop laying within the month. I've also seen birds grow back all missing feathers, than molt fully. Molting is an individual thing and all birds seem to do it their way.

Good to know, thank you! They haven’t lost their wing or tail feathers pretty much just everything else.
 

MontanaChickDoc

Songster
5 Years
Jul 2, 2016
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So I was wondering if anyone else's chickens were molting already. My poor rooster looks pathetic and lost his two long lovely tail feathers. And I'm finding clumps of feathers here and there and everywhere. Egg production has dropped too. But that might be because it's been 90+ degrees almost all summer, gack. Maybe that is why they are molting, trying to shed some heat!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Do you suggest going back to a layer feed?
I feed a 20% all flock type feed, as I always have male(s )and/or young pullets in my flock, and offer Oyster Shell in a separate container for the ones laying.

So I was wondering if anyone else's chickens were molting already. My poor rooster looks pathetic and lost his two long lovely tail feathers.
Yep, 'tis the season, my cockbirds always seem to stat molting first, but a few hens are starting to lose some feathers too.
 

fishstick

In the Brooder
Jul 30, 2017
10
8
41
When my birds start molting I buy the cheapest (Old Roy) puppy chow I can find (it's a plant based brand) and the egg production and feather growth rate improves. The only problem I've found is my rooster starts growling at me, lol. Seriously though with 10 birds just a couple of cups of this high protein supplement a day and the feather growth really improves. Cheap too!
 
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aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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SW Michigan
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When my birds start molting I buy the cheapest (Old Roy) puppy chow I can find (it's a plant based brand) and the egg production and feather growth rate improves. The only problem I've found is my rooster starts growling at me, lol. Seriously though with 10 birds just a couple of cups of this high protein supplement a day and the feather growth really improves. Cheap too!
Animal protein would be better. ;)
Don't think dog food is the best protein supplement during molt, especially not that much, pet foods are usually high in fat and salt, not really good for chickens.
 

mrskenmore

Crowing
8 Years
Apr 21, 2014
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Long Island, NY
Hi Abbyness,

I just had the same thing happen last month with my 5 year old Barred Rock! She dropped a bunch of feathers in August and now in the past weekend she laid two perfect eggs! Glad to see that it was a mini molt as she didn't drop wing or all tail feathers. So grateful for this forum that some one was able to answer my questions! Abbyness- keep us all posted on if she continues to lay or stops again and starts a full molt. I will be watching!
 

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