Molting and egg laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by the girls club, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. the girls club

    the girls club Out Of The Brooder

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    My golden buff went broody several months ago. So We put fertle eggs under her and now she has 3 baby chicks.
    The chicks were 2 weeks old and the mother started to molt. She seems to be a good mother. This is my first experience with a molting chicken. She is doing it slowly. I seperated her when she was broody when we put fertile eggs under her. I have 5 other golden buffs with no molting in a hen house. All my golden buffs will be a year old September 10 th. Would cat food be to much protien for the baby chicks if they got a hold of some? I understand she won't possibly lay eggs when she molts. When I put the baby chicks in the hen house when they are old enough. Which I plan to do when they are fully feathered or about 8 weeks of age.
    3 months later I will switch them all back to layer feed. Do first time layeres molt when they are a year old? So far only one started to molt
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    It's normal for a broody to go through a minor molt. They are protein deprived while sitting and raising babies. No need to change anything feed wise at this time. She will not lay eggs until she has weaned the babies.
     
  3. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    I second what Happy Chooks said.
    Instead of cat food (which I do use periodically to boost protein in winter months for my layers) I like to give vitamins/electrolytes in my broody's water. She has gone through quite the trial with all that brooding, and it helps boost her system.

    I often add some de-wormer as well since the brooding has stressed their system which can cause a build up of worms. I like to use either an herbal (Like Molly's Herbal Wormer) or Rooster Booster Triple Action Mutli-Wormer that has dewormer and vitamins since I prefer staying within FDA/USDA approved meds for layers since I sell my eggs....however many use Safeguard or Panacur (Flubendazole) or Wazine or Pyrantel.

    If you use the Rooster Booster don't add the vitamins in the water as they could over-dose.

    She will stay with the chicks until she decides she is done. Some do that almost immediately, some mother until the chicks are almost adult (and even into adulthood with very determined broodies!).

    She will lay after she finishes her molt and after she is done with brooding her little hatchlings. Usually, for me, that is sometime between 6 and 12 weeks after hatching, depending upon the hen.

    Congratulations on your successful hatch!
    Lady of McCamley
     
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  4. the girls club

    the girls club Out Of The Brooder

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    since she is with her babies is it safe to de worm her. Do you add de worner to the feed? What if the chicks get it? Will it harm them. Where can I get the deworner?
     
  5. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    If you use the type of de-wormer that you "pill her" with...ie squeeze a pea size pellet into her mouth, you can worm now as the chicks couldn't get it. (Panacur, Safeguard) I'm going from memory here...so read the label or google BYC...but usually it is one worm dose then 10 days later another worm dose. Toss any eggs of treated hens during treatment and for 10 days after the last worm dose...so 20 days.

    You mentioned you would separate the chicks out at 8 weeks, so if you use a water dispensed de-wormer like Wazine, I would wait until the chicks are gone and can't get it. I'm not sure what the minimum age is for piperazine (Wazine's ingredient)...but that's pretty strong stuff and I wouldn't personally subject a chick to it. Again, I'm going by memory here...but I think Wazine is in the water for 3 consecutive days??? but read the label or google BYC. Egg toss again during and for 10 days after last dose.

    The only feed type additive would be the Rooster Booster Triple Action Multi Wormer...although I can't put my finger on the information, as I looked that up before, I THINK it can be given to younger poultry, it just has to be old enough to eat the pellet (which would be about 10 weeks or so I should think as that pellet is too hard to pulverize...I know, I tried)....BUT I would call Rooster Booster and ask to be safe as I don't really know the minimum age as momma hen might be better at pulverizing than my husband with hammer was, and she could feed it to her chicks. (Their website states their products are for poultry of all ages, chicks were included. http://roosterboosterproducts.com/ but call to see how young that means)

    I personally like the Rooster Booster product as it is the only FDA/USDA approved wormer for layers (technically if you EVER give an off label wormer, you could NEVER sell the eggs...that probably won't matter to you if you keep only a couple of hens for family use alone) AND there is NO egg pulling. :D :D :D

    You can usually just get the stuff at your local feed store. If you don't have one in your area, Jeffers Feed Store has them online:http://www.jefferspet.com/wormers/camid/LIV/cc/3500/c2c/ln/

    Oh, one other way, which you can supply in the feed is Verm-X, an herbal wormer. No studies have been done to show how really effective it is, but a lot of people use it to help keep worms at bay between med worming and a number of the ingredients have had small studies show they are effective at discouraging worm build up...and I think it is good for that, just expensive for the hen number I have. I'm not sure if any of the products would be toxic to chicks, so I'd call them before using in the feed. It comes in pellet and water additive. https://www.verm-xusa.com/

    HTH
    Lady of McCamley
     
  6. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    An easier way to deworm is to use a pour-on cattle dewormer like Ivomec or Eprinex. Dosage for either is .5cc per large fowl bird, with half the dose put on the skin at the neck and half by the tail--again, on the skin, under the feathers. Will kill most internal AND external parasites. Biggest difference between the two is that Ivomec has a two week period when you can't eat the eggs, Eprinex does not. However, Eprinex costs three times more.

    You can use Sevin dust on day-old chicks, so if you have external parasites a dusting of Sevin under the feathers esp. under the wings and by the vent will work wonders.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Fenbendazole, commonly sold as Safeguard, can cause the feathers to grow back curly and weird if given during a molt. Some people might think that’s cool and neat, but many would be really upset to see that, especially if they didn’t know what caused it.

    I also agree it is not at all unusual for a hen to go through a molt or mini-molt while they are raising chicks, especially when the days get shorter. I personally do not do anything special for a broody or a molting hen. They are not laying eggs but are instead using the nutrients that would normally go into eggs to grow new feathers or build their body back up. And don’t get upset about a broody losing weight while brooding, especially on the nest. They build up excess fat, especially around the vent, so the weight loss is basically fat.

    I don’t see anything wrong with feeding hens extra while they are molting, I just don’t see it as necessary since they are not laying eggs.

    When they molt can be a bit complicated. It’s not really an age thing, though that can have an influence. And realize I’m talking about trends, not absolutes. Not all chickens follow the rules but instead some do their own thing.

    It’s fairly normal for pullets to not molt their first winter but continue laying throughout the winter, though production may drop. They will often go through a mini-molt after they have laid for maybe 11 to 12 months, then resume laying though maybe not full bore an egg a day thing. But in that fall when the days get shorter they normally go through a full-fledged molt. The replace all their feathers, totally quit laying, store up fresh supplies of nutrients and pigment, and totally recharge their bodies to get ready for the next laying season. When they resume laying the number of eggs might or might not drop a bit but egg size should be noticeably larger. It can be frustrating waiting on them to start laying again, but when they do it’s usually well worth the wait.

    Good questions. I don’t see anything unusual about what is going on with yours.
     
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  8. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    Ridgerunner gives a really good reminder about Fenbendazole...I remember reading that and had completely forgotten about Fenbendazole causing weird feather regrowth after molting. I just use Rooster Booster.

    Just so you know, mini molts just leave little tufts of feathers here and there...full molts can be quite startling...the poor bird looks like it has a severe disease because it is practically naked.
    Never figured out why my hens will do a full molt in late fall leaving them naked for the cold rains here...brrrrrr...but they don't seem to mind. [​IMG]

    It's only been my 2nd year hens that have gone through full naked molts. My younger hens just do the little molt thing. My broody hens molt somewhere in between as big feathers drop along with little underfeathers.

    I'm a big believer in re-generating our systems with vitamins during stress, but that's just me.
    Lady of McCamley
     

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