Is this a molt ? or something worse ?

moosenbudda

In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 3, 2009
78
0
39
So. cali
I bought these hens from a guy down the street that started neglecting his animals. Im not sure if this is a molt or a protein deficency when I brought them home they were almost completely bald backs but now they have pin feathers. Im giving them 18 % protein lay crumbles and cat food some scratch mixed in ( i cant find oyster shells anywere). I dusted for mites also this morning . thanks in advance ! They have never even laid an egg either !

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sonew123

Poultry Snuggie
11 Years
Mar 16, 2009
25,016
106
421
onchiota NY
Looks like a protein deficiency to me-I would try and feed something with a little more protein to help them catch up a bit-scrambled eggs is really good...They look to young to be going through their first molt??
 

moosenbudda

In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 3, 2009
78
0
39
So. cali
The coop is quite large its 10X20 and its 20 banties. Im just getting so worried since the feathers are growing back so slowly but I guess I should be happy that there growing back at all ! they were completly naked butts when I got them.
 

thecochincoop

Songster
11 Years
Oct 22, 2008
1,559
6
171
Georgetown, Ohio
My Coop
My Coop
Feathers take a LONG time to grow back. You can help them by feeding them unmedicated game bird starter. It has a lot of protein. They look young so they may be molting also. They do not lay while they are molting. Every one of my birds including the young ones are molting right now and I havn't gotten an egg in over a month
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You feed them good and keep them in plenty of space and they should molt out beautifully
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You can also pull any terribly damaged feathers and it will make them grow a new one in, but it takes 6-8 weeks for a feather to fully come in.
 

CHIC

Songster
10 Years
Aug 18, 2009
605
0
129
Roanoke
If you can't find oyster shells, you can take regular eggs shells, rinse them good and crush them beyond recognition. This will work in the mean-time. I just saw a lady's chickens yesterday and they looked just like that and worse. I really think they must have been plucking each others feathers. She had way too many in a small area with a henhouse that I don't even think they could all fit in at night- not even tall enough for roosts! It really gets to me. I think a lot of people think "they are just chickens". Anyways, don't get me started.
 

Sonoran Silkies

Flock Mistress
11 Years
Jan 4, 2009
20,149
441
421
Tempe, Arizona
Looks like an over aggressive rooster--mostly because of WHERE they are missing feathers. Certainly a molt and feather picking could also be involved. While molting they need higher protein and higher oil in their feed. A handful of cat or dog food or pumpkin seed added to their regular feed will raise the protein. You can add fish, olive, safflower, sunflower or flax oil to their feed, or simply add the seeds (not olive seeds, lol).

IMO, try to give them time outside to run and scratch in the grass and simply be chickens. That will help, too. If there is feather picking, they are likely bored. Get some bird toys, especially the kind where they have to work at it to get treats/food.
 

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