Is my hen molting?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sljack2006, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. sljack2006

    sljack2006 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I started my flock last spring so my girls are nearly a year old and have not molted at all. I am not sure if this is molting? I do have one rooster but he is 1/4 to 1/3 her size and doesn't seem to be able to mate with my large hens. I have 3 standard size hens and
    she is the only one like this. Thank you

    .[​IMG]
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Have you checked her over for pinfeathers? But that looks more like rooster damage than molting... little roos will mate (or sure at least try) big hens, they are sometimes worse on the big girls' feathers than a bigger roo since they tend to do more grabbing since they can't hold on etc right. It's not unusual for a roo to have a favorite hen also, even if you have a lot of hens some roos will just pick one or two girls as a favorite and their feathers will get beat up and the rest of the girls still look fine. You might try a hen saddle on her if you want to keep the roo, they work quite well on protecting the back feathers of the hens. Here is a nice article on molting from TPS http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/217/moulting-a-natural-process/
     
  3. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That looks like rooster damage to me.

    When a rooster mounts his hens he will 'tread' on them to keep his balance. This involves clutching at the feathers, which sometimes get broken off or ripped out. The location of your bird's feather loss is spot on for rooster treading, and it's not uncommon for them to also get balding shoulders and a little bald patch on the back of their necks where he holds on with his beak.

    You might want to consider buying a hen saddle or 'apron' to protect her feathers from further damage.

    Moulting usually occurs around the 15 months of age mark. It follows a pattern starting from the neck feathers, breast feathers, and then on to wings and tail. Being that I am just going though my bird's first moult I can honestly say there is no mistaking it when you see it! There are so many feathers in my coop and run that you would think I had 50 naked chickens running around. My flock, mind you, is only made up of 8 hens, 3 pullets and 1 rooster - who is also moulting by the way! He didn't want to be left out, obviously!

    - Krista
     
  4. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    Yep, that's rooster 'wear'.


    This is a molting hen:
    [​IMG]
     
  5. sljack2006

    sljack2006 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you Kelsie2290. I thought for certain he was too small! lol
     
  6. sljack2006

    sljack2006 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you Krista for all of the great information! I appreciate it!
     
  7. sljack2006

    sljack2006 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you "theoldchick!"
     
  8. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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