If this is Molting, this is bad...

SuzetteWV

Chirping
Aug 15, 2020
24
45
56
If the other birds are picking on her to the point of open wounds - particularly around the vent - you should consider separating them if possible with a screen, chicken wire, etc so they continue to see one another, just not interact until she feathers back in.


Loosely, there are two "kinds" of molt. There's a hard molt, which may be what you describe (would like to see pictures to eliminate other potential causes), in which the bird rapidly loses, then replaces, its adult plumage. Benefits from a high protein diet while it does so, and expect laying production to either mostly, or completely, stop. Very rapid.

Or, you could have a soft molt. A few feathers here, a few feathers there. Again, high protein diets help, but they are less needed due to slower turnover of feathers. Laying production slows, but rarely stops. OTOH, it can take months to complete a soft molt and regular production to resume. VERY frustrating - I spent most of spring and part of summer this way with near a score of adult birds (many "production" breeds) offering up just 4-6 eggs daily.

and I see you've started a separate thread. Headed there next, in hopes of pictures.
Thanks for the info!!! See pics I’ve posted in original post. It just struck me odd that only one of the girls has the severity.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
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Good info thanks! I did just change food but after the molt started. What example of animal protein?
Low salt canned fish is a popular option here, or a very small amount of cat food. Or you can swap everyone to a higher protein feed such as starter.
It just struck me odd that only one of the girls has the severity.
Each bird has their own molting timing and amount. Yours is going through a hard molt, but the good news is she's regrowing a ton of feathers and will look fantastic when it's done.

Every December I get to look forward to this: https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...t-pictures-2020.1407979/page-23#post-23551589
 

LaFleche

Meadow Devil
9 Years
Sep 22, 2012
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Good info thanks! I did just change food but after the molt started. What example of animal protein?
Some scrambled eggs with grated carrots and millet.
Some curd cheese with grated carrots and millet.
Some natural yoghurt with fine oat meal and grated carrots.
And of course, some brewers yeast for the vitamin boost.

You can also provide a piece of real butter. For birds molting in winter, just melt the butter and add some sunflower seeds, millet and other cereals and pieces of fruit. Then let it harden again and hang it in their coop for additional entertainment.
 
Sep 25, 2020
33
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I know there’s been a lot of posts about molting. I have never experienced it before. I have 6 hens, all Americauna’s and about 18 months old. Only one is losing her feathers. When I say losing I mean lost - a lot. No feathers on her rump and underside, around her neck and at base of tail feathers on her back. She looks horrible and sickly and others are pecking at her. Her feathers are everywhere. Why is it only her and why does she seem to be losing so much? I first thought something got after her, but now I don’t think so. I’m afraid she is sick. What else could cause this? If it is molt, how long does it last and how often does it happen? Will my other birds experience this? Is there anything you do differently at this time for your birds. I feel bad and don’t want her suffering. That’s how it looks. Any guidance appreciated!
My Americauna's look the same way. One with behavior not typical to her. She is my most tame bird and now seems to not want to be bothered. After reading these posts it really seems like this is just a tough time for her. Although all 10 are molting she seems the most withdrawn and looks thinner then others but also has the most pin feathers coming in.
 

SusiesPeeps

Chirping
Jun 9, 2020
26
44
66
I know there’s been a lot of posts about molting. I have never experienced it before. I have 6 hens, all Americauna’s and about 18 months old. Only one is losing her feathers. When I say losing I mean lost - a lot. No feathers on her rump and underside, around her neck and at base of tail feathers on her back. She looks horrible and sickly and others are pecking at her. Her feathers are everywhere. Why is it only her and why does she seem to be losing so much? I first thought something got after her, but now I don’t think so. I’m afraid she is sick. What else could cause this? If it is molt, how long does it last and how often does it happen? Will my other birds experience this? Is there anything you do differently at this time for your birds. I feel bad and don’t want her suffering. That’s how it looks. Any guidance appreciated!
I have 6 hens of different breeds going through the 18-month molt. A couple have looked very bare especially in the butt area. They are also very cranky, sleeping in nest boxes, and it seems their social order is upset. I've read many times over they need extra protein during the molt, so I give them a can of tuna a couple of times per week and they seem to really love that. I agree that it's hard to see if this is the first time you've experienced the 18-month molt. Can't wait til it's over!
 

SurferchickinSB

Free Ranging
Feb 23, 2018
2,884
4,530
532
California
I know there’s been a lot of posts about molting. I have never experienced it before. I have 6 hens, all Americauna’s and about 18 months old. Only one is losing her feathers. When I say losing I mean lost - a lot. No feathers on her rump and underside, around her neck and at base of tail feathers on her back. She looks horrible and sickly and others are pecking at her. Her feathers are everywhere. Why is it only her and why does she seem to be losing so much? I first thought something got after her, but now I don’t think so. I’m afraid she is sick. What else could cause this? If it is molt, how long does it last and how often does it happen? Will my other birds experience this? Is there anything you do differently at this time for your birds. I feel bad and don’t want her suffering. That’s how it looks. Any guidance appreciated!
That is exactly how my lavender Orpington molts. When she molts she looks very sickly and barely eats and has diarrhea and it usually takes her about two months before she starts looking good again.I always get sort of worried because she is head hen and when she molts, seems like she becomes the lowest
 

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