Missing Feathers, Missing Eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mrssteciw, May 28, 2017.

  1. mrssteciw

    mrssteciw Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm looking for some chicken wisdom- this is my first time raising chickens and my flock is a little over a year old. At the end of the winter/very early spring, I noticed the hens beginning to molt. I didn't notice a huge drop in egg production, but it was winter, so it had been spotty anyway. It's been a couple of months and their feathers seem to be coming in VERY slowly, if at all. Is this normal for molting or should I look at other possible issues?

    On top of that, I recently discovered some of my hens were laying in the eaves of their coop (a barn stall) I removed them and blocked access to it, but I'm not getting any more eggs! There's not many places they could be hiding them- they don't free range (we have kids and a dog- too much chaos). I have a broody hen that I need to break, but I'm still getting eggs from my other chickens, so it's not like she's scaring everyone out of the nesting boxes.

    I'm sorry for the long post- I just have a feeling that something isn't right but I don't know where to start solving the mysteries. Any insights would be much appreciated!
     
    penny1960 likes this.
  2. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls Be Happy! Read more. Premium Member

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    :frow :welcome

    First thing first.
    Where are you..general location.
    and
    What do you feed them?
     
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  3. penny1960

    penny1960 la la land awaits Premium Member

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    Hey there Welcome is the first thing I want to say.
    She probably has figured another spot to do it they can be tricky that way
    you can give them chick starter and yogurt when they molt or lukewarm oatmeal
    with their feed extra proteins even cooked egg and break the shells to give back to them is a great start..
     
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  4. firestomp

    firestomp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you looked them over real good by the vent and under the wings for anything moving? Certain mites can cause a feather issue, they will preen constantly and could be why they aren't using the nest boxes. Are they healthy and in good condition, active, and bright combs and eyes? If not. could be an internal parasites. Lastly, how many hens do you have with the rooster? He can be very rough on feathers on their backs and shoulder or top of wing areas. I de-spurred mine.A beautiful black australorp. For one he was mean as the devil. couldn't break him from flogging me or anyone for that matter, even have scars and had an infection. He flogged me the last time about 2 months ago. Any ways, use a dremel with a heavy cut off disc, put him on his back and cut the spurs about 1/4 inch from the leg. It won't hurt as they have no nerves in the spur tissue, and there will be no blood, as the disc turns so fast, the heat generated cauterizes the tissue. They will grow back, the same as our nails do. Just some ideas to look at.
     
    KikisGirls likes this.
  5. mrssteciw

    mrssteciw Out Of The Brooder

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    We are in Easten Pennsylvania and they eat Purina layer pellets with some kitchen scraps thrown in occasionally (leftover scrambled eggs, stuff from the kids' lunches, veggie scraps). I was wondering if I should add protein, but they get scrambled eggs fairly often, I didn't know if it was necessary.

    I think I may have to check them for mites or lice. I haven't because they eating, drinking, and behaving normally (bright eyes, energetic, etc). Their combs dulled while I "thought" they were molting but they seem to be back to normal now. The rooster may also be a problem. He's not nice, but not overly aggressive either. I've been thinking about rehoming him as he went after my oldest a few weeks ago when he was in their run. I like having him for flock protection, but I don't see us hatching chicks anytime soon, so maybe the flock would be better off without him hassling them?
     
  6. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls Be Happy! Read more. Premium Member

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    Can you post a few pics of your hens?
     
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  7. mrssteciw

    mrssteciw Out Of The Brooder

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    Oops- and I have 10 hens (plus Mr Rooster).

    I'm sure the gang that's hiding their eggs found another spot, I just can't for the life of me figure out where it would be!
     
  8. mrssteciw

    mrssteciw Out Of The Brooder

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    KikisGirls- I'll try to get some pictures when I let them out tomorrow morning!
     
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  9. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls Be Happy! Read more. Premium Member

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    I'd like to see just how bad their feather situation is.
     
    mrssteciw likes this.
  10. mrssteciw

    mrssteciw Out Of The Brooder

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    I can't compare it to anything, but in my opinion, it's not horrible, just some bald patches on their backs and necks (so maybe the rooster). I don't notice blood or any major redness. The broody hen has less feathers, but that's normal? I'll be interested to see what you think when I post the pictures.

    Thanks everyone for all of the input! It's relieving to not feel quite so bewildered by these birds!
     

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