Molting, I guess...

LittleZ

In the Brooder
7 Years
Apr 23, 2012
19
0
24
Vermont
A couple weeks ago my egg production dropped from about 3-4 eggs per day from my flock of four 14-month old hens, to 1-2 eggs per day. And for the past week 0-1 egg per day with only one chicken laying, my red sex link, Lil' Red. The Australorp and two Brahmas seemed to have stopped laying completely. And food consumption has been way up for the past month! I don't think there is an egg eater because I am still finding that one egg almost every night when I get home from work in the evening.

Today for the first time I noticed an abundance of feathers in the run and coop so it looks like maybe a molt, however the hens all still look great, no bald spots at all. If anyone looks a little scruffy, it's Lil' Red, and she's laying almost every day. Rrrr.

Well, the big girls are getting lots of mealworms now that I am out in the yard everyday babysitting (and taming) the chicks during their playtime outside. Anything else I should be worried about other than having to maybe buy eggs for a couple months?
 

LittleZ

In the Brooder
7 Years
Apr 23, 2012
19
0
24
Vermont
OK, so it definitely looks like Betty is molting. Her normally beautiful fluffy creamy buff brahma butt is looking a little thin and gray... The feather in the run look like hers. Amazing how many feathers can come out of one still living chicken's back end. Not sure what Bunny and Carly's excuse for not laying is...could be their molt is imminent.



 

theoldchick

The Chicken Whisperer
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
May 11, 2010
31,325
14,744
777
Molting can be rather dramatic in chickens. The seem to change on a daily basis.

Even a partial molt is alarming to see




And the full body molt can send you scurrying for a lice treatment




She was back to normal in 6 weeks or so.


 

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