Molting Chickens!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Tricia's Triple Z, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. Tricia's Triple Z

    Tricia's Triple Z Out Of The Brooder

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    It is almost December and I think that my girls are molting! I wouldn't have thought it but more then one has new feather growth. Tails especially, then one has new feathers on her wings, not flight feathers but I want to say near her shoulder. Has anyone else had this issue. It is starting to get cold, but to warm for the lights. I'll try to get a pic up.
     
  2. urban dreamer

    urban dreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two of my four molting right now. I don't have lights in my coop or anything for warmth (our lights went out yesterday because of the rain and I am afraid that if they get used to the lights during the winter and then we have a power outage, it will be bye bye chickens). Anyways, I am alittle concerned myself about them getting cold while half necked. One of them looks like she exploded feathers and the other is just about over her molt. Its been about four weeks and so I am hopeing for eggs this winter from her. I think they will be ok. Its not quiet as cold as it will get and if things get too bad you can always wrap them up in a dog sweater. Other than that, the other chickens will help warm them at night. Dose anyone else have any suggestion?
     
  3. smores.eragon.willymom

    smores.eragon.willymom Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 9, 2008
    I only have two chickens. One is molting and one isn't, but neither of them are laying. In fact, they have not laid at all for the past two weeks. I can understand the molting hen, but what's going on with the other girl? It's just starting to get chilly at night here and the night lights we had on in their coop burned out last month and we just replaced them yesterday (thought we'd give them some non-light time, but with no eggs we decided to put the lights back up). Our girls are free range and since the molting started they have been sleeping up against the house and only go into their coop to eat. But, we're worried about not having eggs at all for two weeks. They seem healthy and happy. We live in Florida and have all the windows open. They stand at the screen door leading to the kitchen and talk to me all day. We have been giving them both a bit of yogurt every day for added protein. They love it and the molting hen's feathers are growing in fast. So...should we be worried about the lack of eggs--especially from the non-molting hen?

    The molting hen only lost feathers on her neck and wings. She is one ugly girl right now, but still sweet as pie. My youngest went outside during a cold snap, wrapped the hen in a towel, and put the hen in her lap. The little hen slept and slept. [​IMG]
     
  4. Tricia's Triple Z

    Tricia's Triple Z Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 7, 2007
    You might have to go on an egg hunt! I found my Welsumer eggs in my daughters play house. I was wondering why I wasn't getting eggs from them, I only have 2 and neither of them will go in the nest box!
     
  5. UK Chicken rancher

    UK Chicken rancher Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes I agree about an egg hunt. We were letting our flock free range during the day only to find a nest under the coop with 19 eggs and noone setting! All of them had to be thrown away, since they had accumilated there over several weeks. I now wait until afternoon to let them out to free range, after I know most of them have laid. Age may have something to do with your non molting bird laying as well, if they are over 3 years I am told the production goes way down.
     
  6. CarolynPerth

    CarolynPerth Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 14, 2009
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    Hi, I just put pictures on my blog of my unseasonal moulting bird. It is first day of summer here and none of the others have started to molt yet. This one NEEDED the new feathers after a rooster was with her (the brute!). I've had these birds for 3 months and never seen an egg from this one which was supposed to be point of lay.
    Blog

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=44514
     
  7. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    My Coop
    Yup. My buttercup is in full molt. She has a little puff of feathers on the top of her head, nothing around her face, eyes, neck, etc. She looks like a naked neck right now with a little top hat. She has also lost a lot of feathers on her body. She has a bare spot on each side by her tail. (she is a hard one to catch, so flighty) She just looks pathetic. I seriously looks like there was a big pillow fight in my run, and the buttercup lost. But I see the pin feathers getting bigger, so she's starting to grow new feathers.

    ETA: She's lost a few tail feathers as well, since I see them laying in the yard.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2009
  8. Tricia's Triple Z

    Tricia's Triple Z Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 7, 2007
    I was really concerned that they may have gotten a case of mites. I powdered the coop anyway, just in case. The one EE that is molting just seems sad and unsociable. I am going to give them a treat of yogurt this morning maybe that will cheer he up!
     
  9. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    Hens bodies take a very important, much needed rest from egg laying during the times of year when daylight hours are shorter - for more info on this, you will find umpteen threads about that on BYC. It is good for them to rest. I don't provide artifical light during hours that are naturally dark.
    JJ
     
  10. urban dreamer

    urban dreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    An earily easter egg hunt sounds like fun! I don't think its a problem that she hasn't laid an egg in two weeks. My two year old BR hasn't laid one in two weeks too. I think it has to do with our weather though, we got a freak of a cold snap recently. I don't have lamps in my coop because it would violate my building permit (I had to have one in the city) and our lights tend to go out during the winter and when it rains alot. Im afraid that if I get them used to the warmth and lights were to go out, it would be bye bye birdie. But as far as I've seen it is not unusual for birds to molt at this time. If you think it might be mites, post some pictures in the injury and emergencies section. Treating with DE is what everyone has suggested to me and it also helps with worms too. My other BR is molting full blast. I thought a preditor has gotten a fist full of feathers and then came to realized it was just her. It was so sudden. One day clean coop next day it looked like feathers had exploeded! On the note of egg laying decreases with age: Two of my birds are over two years old. How bad dose laying decrease with age and what do you normally do with them when they reach three and beyond? (note: I am very attached to my birds)
     

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