Is this a molt?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Hennyhandler, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. Hennyhandler

    Hennyhandler SilkieJax

    Jun 10, 2009
    Cullman
    I had a chicken that was broody and just recently did I switch the fake egg out from under her and broker her of it. Now, I have seen an abundance of feathers all the same color and started to realize that the feathers on her tail disappeared. There was just two long ones in the middle. Today, there is almost none, just the soft ones on the sides of her tail. She looks like she has a rump. Would this be a molt for her? Just a couple days after getting over being broody?
    The others hens tails are narrower in the last couple of months but nothing like hers. I know all those feathers are hers. So what do you suppose this could be?

    I also want to mention that she is happy and healthy, now that she is over her broodiness. (she has started to get skinny and that was why I encouraged her to quit)
    Thank you so much for any replies or advice.
     
  2. burquechick

    burquechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How long was she broody for? Just wondering.

    I had two hens recently that went broody and they were just starting to molt when they started out. Then right towards the end of the 21 days they both hit severe molts. They're ok now, but their sister (who didn't go broody) is just now starting her molt with less feather loss. So I'd say, yes, the brooding process can hasten the molt and make it more severe.
     
  3. Hennyhandler

    Hennyhandler SilkieJax

    Jun 10, 2009
    Cullman
    It was about a month maybe but the thing was she never really got off the nest to eat. When I would pull her off and sit her out there she would start to lay down again as if she was on the nest still. I don't know if her amount of weight loss was normal but she never had a full crop and she was easily lighter than the others.

    I wonder why being broody makes a molt come on faster. I didn't know that. I have been waiting on a molt for a while now and since I have never seen one I didn't know exactly what to expect since there is a such thing as a partial molt. I know that all of my hens look a little thinner in the feathers but when I saw her I knew for sure since that tail disappeared. It was the first to go. Do you think she will have any more feather loss?

    And can I expect for my other hens to start a molt soon or is she the oddball?
     
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    I think the stress from weight loss triggered a more severe molt. I would give her alot of TLC and healthy treats to help build her back up. Also hens pluck out their own feathers in making a nest, maybe this is why she is even balder.
     
  5. burquechick

    burquechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2008
    Louisiana
    Yeah, don't worry. My hens did the same thing. Molting and brooding at the same time seems to be a lot of stress on them. It's not recommended to allow molting hens to set. I know that now. But, it helps to give them extra protein at this time, so I've been giving mine cat food 2-3 times a week and their new feathers are just starting to come in really nicely. You can even give them some extra scratch to help build the fat reserves back up too. Oh yeah, and maybe consider putting vitamins in the water. I'm doing all of this now and mine seem to be gaining the weight back nicely too.

    Edited - correction
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2010
  6. burquechick

    burquechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Louisiana
    I don't think you other hens should molt this severely. It was because of the setting that this one hen lost so many feathers at one time. Because she was sitting on the eggs, she wasn't getting the nutrition she needed for feather development.
     
  7. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

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    I have seen hens that looked like they had almost been plucked for cooking when they molted. They were so pitiful. Feed her extra protein like water packed salmon with the water poured off along with her other feed and some cooked chopped or grated eggs. They need lots of protein to make feathers. Gloria Jean
     

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