Is she molting?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by h8snags, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. h8snags

    h8snags Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have an 8 month old Golden Laced Wyandotte... I noticed all her bigger tail feathers fell out a week or so ago, and then this morning when I went out to let them into the outdoor run, I noticed a bunch of her neck feathers missing. At a closer look, the quills are there, and it seems new feathers are growing in. This happened overnight.. do you think she is molting? If so, is it normal at 8 months? None of the other chickens are showing any of the signs of molting... Here are a couple pics.. Thanks in advance for your input!![​IMG]

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  2. StarLover21

    StarLover21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yup!
     
  3. waterchicken

    waterchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Definitely! Mine go like that all the time. I have some I got this year (about the age of yours) and they're molting now, something to do with winter and replacing old and damaged feathers.
     
  4. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All the hens in our flock are molting right now, too, some of them quite severely. Nature sure picks an odd time for chickens to shed feathers! It was over 100 degrees here not long ago, when having less insulation would have been a blessing. Tonight it's going down to the 30's, and those extra feathers would come in handy.

    I've been using a cordless hand vac to pick up the stray feathers around the coop and run. I think I have enough to stuff a pillow by now.
     
  5. waterchicken

    waterchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:LOL! [​IMG] Same here! [​IMG]
     
  6. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    The pullet
    The chick goes through one complete and three partial moults during its growth to point of lay. Generally, complete moulting occurs from 1-6 weeks of ag, and partial moulting at 7-9 weeks, 12-16 weeks and 20-22 weeks. During this final moult, the stiff tail feathers grow.
     
  7. h8snags

    h8snags Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much for all your input, I'm glad that's what it is! She seems to be aware of it, and is extra grumpy because she's not as beautiful as she once was! LOL! She lost some more of the neck feathers.. she's looking pretty hammered! I'll tell her not to worry, she'll have her feathers back, and be just as pretty as she was before!
    I agree Elmo, it has been down in the twenties at night, and it snowed here this morning.. I bet she won't be running around out with her neck stretched out! By the way, that's a great idea gathering enough feathers to stuff a pillow.. might make great Christmas gifts! [​IMG] LOL!!!
     
  8. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm pretty sure all those feather quills are itchy and uncomfortable as they're growing in, and it's a great physical stress on the chicken's system to produce all those new feathers. That's why a molting chicken will stop or reduce laying.

    I've been offering extra protein to the flock because feathers are made mostly of protein.
     
  9. h8snags

    h8snags Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She hasn't been laying for a couple weeks now, so that was my first clue to the molting. I too am feeding extra protien! I have an Orpington who loves to pull the feathers off unsuspecting chickens to eat them! Once I figured out why (she is needing the extra protien) I bought the layer feed with the most protien, added sunflower seeds to their scratch, and just started giving them alfalfa cubes to supplement their greens (I also found there is protien in that too). It has been working, although now I think it's just a bad habit.. now the other girls are boking her on the head when she does it, so hopefully she'll stop! My poor Lucy was almost bald on her behind! [​IMG]
    What extra protien are you feeding yours?
     
  10. Chic_girl

    Chic_girl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The same thing is happening to one of my Brahmas. She's about 7 months old. Two days ago, she had a nice fluffy neck, now it looks like she's attempting to turn into a Naked-Neck![​IMG] Her quills are coming in nicely though.

    A question though- Do all pullets and cockerels go through a molt in late fall? Because so far, it seems to only be this pullet, and one of my polish pullets. Will the others start molting this fast as well?
     

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