Is this molting?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by dalostshaker, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. dalostshaker

    dalostshaker Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 13, 2008
    Wilmington, NC
    I have only been a chicken owner for a year and apparently I will always have a ton of questions about them!
    I have a 8 month old Australop pullet that I just noticed today is losing down feathers on her breast. Over the past week or so I have seen a feather or two of hers in the nesting box that she uses, but didn't think much of it until she and I were spending some quality time together this morning. I was rubbing around, checking her out and I noticed that most of the down coat is gone from her breast and there is no sign of new feathers coming in. Her skin is perfectly clean and smooth there! I checked the rest of her out and there is no sign of bugs or their eggs.
    I've been looking all over the forum and saw a few pictures of birds in a full-on molt and she doesn't look like that at all. She looks normal because she has her outer feathers in tact. I also saw something about broody hens pulling out feathers to make their skin come in contact with the eggs, but my girl is anything but broody. She lays regularly and dashes out of the house wanting to play and explore.
    My other Barred Rock girls are a few months older than her and they haven't gone through a molt, so naturally the younger bird losing feathers is freaking me out.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    In the absence of bugs, I'd say mini-moult. She's at the right age for it.
    When some of mine went thru a mini-moult, I didn't notice many bare areas, just lots of 'tuffs" sticking out between the outer feathers and quite a few feathers in coop and nest boxes.
    Tabitha's mini-moult was the hardest of any of them. Here's what she looked like:


    [​IMG]
     
  3. Demeter

    Demeter Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 4, 2009
    Still a pretty chicken.
     
  4. dalostshaker

    dalostshaker Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 13, 2008
    Wilmington, NC
    Wow! That makes me feel so much better. I was reading posts about birds losing all of their feathers at once...and this certainly is not what my baby, "Rama Lama Ding Dong" is going through.
    Thanks for your advice...and Tabitha is very pretty. Makes me wish that I had picked out a Bramha for my collection!
     
  5. ScoobyRoo

    ScoobyRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2008
    Land of OZ
    I've had my chickens almost a year too and I'm trying to educate myself on the moulting process. When it usually starts, what to feed how long it last etc. etc. I know every breed is different. I'm not sure that I'm looking forward to it.
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Henry'schickens :

    I've had my chickens almost a year too and I'm trying to educate myself on the moulting process. When it usually starts, what to feed how long it last etc. etc. I know every breed is different. I'm not sure that I'm looking forward to it.

    Out of my (then) 16 hens, I think a total of eight went thru the mini-moult in the 7 to 8 month range. It was during the coldest part of winter for us, but it didn't seem to bother them. The pattern I noticed was missing feathers starting right behind the beak and working it's way back to the tail. New feathers growing in almost as fast as they could lose the old ones.
    I fed black oil sunflower seeds daily, dry cat food three times a week, yogurt and cheese for a protein boost. All of the girls looked back to normal in a week, ten days at the most. My daily egg count dropped for five days.
    I'm told the full moult at 18 months is much worse.​
     

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