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Molting chicken?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by KDOGG331, Aug 22, 2016.

  1. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    So for the past few days I've noticed that one of my hens has some missing feathers/a bald spot on her neck. She also hasn't been laying for the same amount of time or a little longer. Now that's not that unusual to not lay one day because I usually get between 6 and 8 eggs a day from 8 hens (though lately it's been more like 4, sometimes 3 or 5, i guess cause of heat) and it's usually a different chicken that doesn't lay. If one doesn't lay, they do the next day. But what's unusual is it's been a few days now. I haven't checked to see if she's laid today but I doubt it. She hadn't earlier. There's also feathers in the run.

    She is an Easter Egger.

    I tried to look at her neck but she got away from me. But I tried to yesterday too and i can't see any injuries.

    I have 1 Barred Rock, 2 Black Australorps, 3 Buff Orpingtons, and 2 Easter Eggers.

    The one in question is the lower ranking of the 2 EEs.

    They were hatched October 26th, 2015 and come from Meyer Hatchery if that helps.

    That should make them about 10 months old?

    Which I thought was pretty early?

    I've read a lot about molting so I'd be prepared, hence why I didn't panic over this and think it is a molt. But that said I don't want to not panic if I should be worried.

    I have a suspicion she could possibly be being picked on or plucked in her beard area as she's the lowest ranking i think but i could be wrong about the bullying and this seems different. I also haven't actually seen anyone picking on her.

    Could she really be molting this early?

    I thought it was early season wise too, being August when i thought it was usually a fall thing, but also today I found another post mentioning the first one is usually 18 months. I had read that when I read up on molting butbhad forgotten about that. .


    Is it possible she is molting so early?

    If so can I give her something to up the protein, maybe BOSS or buy Feather Fixer? Don't wanna switch whole flock if they don't molt this year or if she's not molting. Maybe give just her the treats?

    I will try to get a picture of her neck but she's also my most flighty.

    Their coop and run is also only maybe 3x3 coop kit from TSC for coop and 6x12 dog kennel run so I know it's too small, we are in the process of building a new one now. But so could the stress of that have caused early onset molting??? Or do some chickens just molt earlier? No one else appears to be molting.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. ChkenKeeper

    ChkenKeeper Just Hatched

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    Personally I feel it is just the molting, all mine are going through the same process. I am around the Central valley area in California and the temps have been up in the 102-105 range. Not only did my egg production drop 60% but it forced them to start molting also, the feather loss on your bird you think is being picked on probably is also due to the molt. If it is being picked on get some "Pick-No-More", you can Google it and find where to buy it. It is easy to apply, goes on as a purple color but turns clear within 24 hours, Chickens hate the taste of it and so the picking does stop. Don't rush to assume situations, especially when the molting process is in transition, because it is right in front of your eyes. Observation is 70% of the cure. [​IMG]
    Keep us posted as you observe more.
     
  3. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    Thanks so much for all your help! So would the heat cause her to molt so early and young? I'm assuming it's probably the molt, especially because she generally looks a little scraggly and seems to have loose feathers in other places. I just never knew it could be so early. I must admit that although they're for pets and egg laying, I've been hardly spending any time with them and all but stopped observing through the windows. I must spend more time with them and observe them better. They're my first chickens.
     
  4. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm going to try getting a picture or video today. I'm thinking a short video might be easier than getting her to stand still LOL but we'll see. Maybe I'll try giving treats while I do it.
     
  5. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    I still can't believe she'd molt so early though?
     
  6. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My silkie is molting right now.
     
  7. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Last year, all of my pullets over 8 months old did partial molts through the neck, wings, and tail. And a few did full-on molts.
     
  8. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    I bet she looks silly lol



    Really? I hadn't even realized they could do partial molts. So do you think she's just partially molting then?
     
  9. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Maybe. If she only molts her neck, it's a partial. If she starts dropping feathers all over, she's going to do a full molt. I have one hen that has been in molt for over three months, and she's not even close to being done yet. Some are very gradual molters, others drop everything all at once.
     
  10. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    Hmmm well so far it's just her neck but it seems like it might be moving to the other side of the neck and I've noticed a couple feathers by her tail/back seem loose but she always looks somewhat raggedy so i don't know. It might just be her neck. I'll have to keep an eye on her.
     

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