It's official--my girls are molting too. Now what?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by miss_thenorth, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    I thought maybe they were bored and pecking at each other--I have given them things to keep busy with, checked for bugs--found none but sprinkled bug stuff (don'tknow the name--like sevin dust) anyways, but now one hen is completely bald on her chest, and some are bald on there butts. Smooth as a baby's bottom.

    i am totally convinced now they are molting. Have added stuff to their water, for this and to prepare them for the introduction to the new birds, but my concern lies with the thought that is going to get 'real ' cold again and they don't have alot of feathers to keep warm.

    What's a chicken mom to do?
     
  2. s6bee

    s6bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    Ok, well I am wondering the same thing. I didn't think they would do it so soon after just starting to lay in the first place, but....
    Anyway, I found this link
    http://msucares.com/poultry/management/poultry_feathers.html
    and reading it made sense to me. For the past 2 days I've had my egg production cut in half. I didn't know if they were egg bound or not, but I took a look at my SLW and she seems to be goind bald on her head, which is where I guess it will happen first. Now according to this site, the question I have is are they late molters or early molters, my guess is early being that they are only 7 mos. old......So now no eggs I guess? Ugh, my hubby won't be happy. I dont' want to buy eggs [​IMG]
     
  3. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 20, 2007
    Wisconsin
    It is possible that if the flock didn't have a constant supply of fresh water (due to freezing), then that will cause a molt.

    bigzio
     
  4. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    My girls have an electric water dish. i go out several times a day to check on them and their water is never frozen nor do they ever run dry--always water... Do I need to be concerned about colder weather coming?
     
  5. s6bee

    s6bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    I go out several times a day to check on the water. It's been cold but even in the single digits we've been able to prevent freezing. Only once this winter did the water freeze.

    So if they go through a molt, how long is a typical molt phase and do they stop laying all together during that time?
     
  6. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Jan 30, 2007
    WV
    Chickens usually don't molt til midsummer thru late Fall...it can take up to 3 months or longer...they stress easy and require extra protein to help with feather growth.....they do stop laying during this time...
     
  7. chickenranchwife

    chickenranchwife Chillin' With My Peeps

    miss_thenorth,

    Hello, I don't know much, but I do know to pray over your girls to make it with no clothes on. The Lord will provide for them. Do they have a heater in their coop? Good luck!
     
  8. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    No heater-- a halogen light to extend daylight and provide warmth. If they are motling though, I would cut off the light so they could rest more. It was minus 10 C last night, and they wrere okay this morning. Ahhh...winter can't last to much longer--can it
     
  9. s6bee

    s6bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    Tell me about it, it's a whopping 12 degrees today. I think the girls have had it too. I did get my normal amount of eggs today, so who knows what is going on.
    I feed my hens, layer pellet, scratch in the a.m., layer mash every other day or so, and the occasional treat, usually veggies. I thought they got the protien in those items but maybe not?
    I am trying to store up on eggs in anticipation of the molt, but I can feed them to the girls to help w/ the protien.

    They also have the required light they need. I'm praying for Spring, praying for spring!

    Stephanie
     
  10. wendy

    wendy On the Hill

    Jun 14, 2007
    central louisiana
    one of my chickens moulted, she just got back all her feathers within the last couple of weeks. anyways i have a book that says late summer thru fall that they will moult. but every once in awhile i will go online to hen cam site. i don't know if you ever check out the site. but she had a pic of her chicken moulting this winter too and says it usually happens to one of hers and the feathers are back by the end of february or begining of march. i emailed her about it and she answered my questions. i sent her a picture and she confirmed it. i too had used stuff like seven dust, wormed them, and sprayed! but it was obviously moulting be cause the feathers came back and it did not spread to others in our flock.
     

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