Molting complication!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by newchickmom, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. newchickmom

    newchickmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 8, 2007
    Lafayette, Indiana
    I have 26 hens and right now about 8 of them are in full blown molt (bear backs) and another 5 are molting less! [​IMG]
    I have a heat light over the roost so they won't get too cold and they seem to be doing good. I do have a couple of questions though.
    How long does the molt last? (started about 6 wks ago)
    Is there a way to speed it up?
    If a feather breaks and bleeds, should I pull the remainder of the shaft out? Thats what I would do if it was my parrot.
    Can anyone give me any ideas? [​IMG]
     
  2. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    Douglasville GA
    Moults last from 2 weeks to as long as 3 months.

    Do not pull the shafts out!

    The only thing you can do to help is up their protien intake to help grown new feathers.
     
  3. newchickmom

    newchickmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 8, 2007
    Lafayette, Indiana
    If a broken feather is bleeding, how do you stop it? This an old feather that hasn't fallen out yet. Not a new one. I have a hen with 2 old feathers that broke off at about 1/2 and 3/4 inches.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2008
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Are these broken feathers actually bleeding now? I've never heard of old feathers bleeding. Normally, only new feathers bleed. As they mature, the blood supply recedes. If they are bleeding, I suspect they aren't that old, but maybe grew in much earlier in the molt.

    For bleeding feathers, you can press flour on the end of the feather to help it clot. You could pull the feather, but that's very painful for the chicken. I would only do that if I worked on the feather repeatedly and it was still bleeding.

    Some chickens do gradual molts, over a few months. Other chickens do a hard molt and drop a lot of feathers all at once. So, how long they take to molt can vary.

    To help chickens grow feathers faster, you can give them a little extra protein. I also like to give more sunflower seed.
     
  5. rdranch

    rdranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Strasburg,CO
    I added some game bird grower (crumbles) to their normal layer pellets and it helped them get through it faster. I mixed about 2 parts layer feed to 1 part game bird. They surprised me by not billing out the layer feed to get to the game bird feed. Hope this helps.[​IMG]
     
  6. kinnip

    kinnip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    Mine are in a slooooow molt. I've been sauteeing catfish for them. Spoiled brats.
     
  7. Redfeathers

    Redfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 11, 2007
    Gervais OR
    Mine are taking on average almost two months to go through the molt. I've added protien and extra bedding to keep them warmer. They seem fine though, just not as friendly as they used to be when they were fully feathered and laying. I have to buy eggs at the store now. [​IMG]
     

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