Losing their feathers

chickynparadise

Chirping
5 Years
Dec 6, 2014
44
2
59
Sumter, SC
My 3 girls are shedding their feathers. I know this can be normal but my concern is with our unusually warm weather we are having they think it's a different time of year and will get cold when winter finally does arrive. They are not eating as much as usual but eating, hanging out, of course egg production is down and seem normal otherwise. Should I be concerned or am I missing something that could be going on?
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,517
20,803
907
Southeast Louisiana
I don’t know how old they are, that might have a bearing, but it sounds like a normal molt to me, though it’s a bit late. Still, I have a couple in the middle of a heavy molt right now. The days getting shorter is what triggers the molt, not the temperature. We’ve just passed the Winter Solstice so the days are gradually getting longer but mine have already started the molt. It sounds like yours have too.

Each chicken is an individual and does things like molt on their own schedule, within some bounds. Since you only have three, averages don’t mean a lot. You just don’t have enough for averages to balance out. So while yours may be late, that’s not unusual in so small a flock to have some late.

I would not be over-concerned about them getting cold later. Naked Necked (Turken) chickens have totally bare necks. They also have about half as many feathers as most other breeds, yet Turkens are known as a good cold weather breed. They can handle cold better than we often give them credit for.
 

chickynparadise

Chirping
5 Years
Dec 6, 2014
44
2
59
Sumter, SC
Thank you! My girls are about 2 yrs old, I really appreciate the information and peace of mind I get from everyone on this site.

Happy New Year!
 

Hokum Coco

Crowing
8 Years
Dec 6, 2012
4,274
3,643
477
New Brunswick,Canada
My 3 girls are shedding their feathers. I know this can be normal but my concern is with our unusually warm weather we are having they think it's a different time of year and will get cold when winter finally does arrive. They are not eating as much as usual but eating, hanging out, of course egg production is down and seem normal otherwise. Should I be concerned or am I missing something that could be going on?

Are you providing any sort of artificial lighting to encourage egg laying? In a perfect world birds usually have a heavy molt in the warmer months.

Is it just a light molt (which I would consider normal head and neck area) or a heavy molt? If it is a heavy molt I would monitor the amount of feather loss with the colder temperatures.

Consider upping their protein intake to speed feather regrowth.


Uping the protein rate in your feed is a good suggestion made by aart.
 
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chickynparadise

Chirping
5 Years
Dec 6, 2014
44
2
59
Sumter, SC
I am not sure what normal moulting looks like. Occasionally they have feathers in their coop but this last time I cleaned it there were more than I have seen yet (or remember seeing)-I will up their protein intake-I was giving them dried mealworms (of course, they love those!) but they are expensive so I stopped-they have good pellets and I give veggies/fruits daily. I live in Sumter, SC and our weather has been very unusually warm (70-80's)We have cooled off now, hoping it stays that way.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,718
130,679
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I am not sure what normal moulting looks like. Occasionally they have feathers in their coop but this last time I cleaned it there were more than I have seen yet (or remember seeing)-I will up their protein intake-I was giving them dried mealworms (of course, they love those!) but they are expensive so I stopped-they have good pellets and I give veggies/fruits daily. I live in Sumter, SC and our weather has been very unusually warm (70-80's)We have cooled off now, hoping it stays that way.
Look for pin feathers growing in....they look like little spikes.

What are 'good pellets'?
Label shows protein level.....which can be diluted with fruits and veggies.
 

Chickobsessed17

In the Brooder
Oct 26, 2015
56
2
33
Florida
following because I have a year old sexlink hen who doesn't lay and she has NO feathers left on her head tons missing from her body and looks awful!!!!!
 

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