molting in december??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AnnieE, Dec 20, 2014.

  1. AnnieE

    AnnieE Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 17, 2014
    Southeast Michigan
    Hello,

    I have 6 black sex links that were born in april this year and did not molt this fall. I kept waiting for it, but nothing ever happened. Now, one of them seems to losing the feathers around her neck and has white?? on her head (teased her that she was going grey!) Its been in the 20s and 30s for weeks now. Why would she molt now? The other five seem full feathered, though one other has light white/grey on her head too.

    No diet change, free ranges after work and on weekends. All six are still thick as theives. No evidence of being picked on when im around.

    What do i do if she molts now?? How do i keep her warm? The coop doesnt have electricity.

    Sorry for crappy pics, she wouldnt hold still.

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  2. AnnieE

    AnnieE Out Of The Brooder

    61
    4
    38
    Dec 17, 2014
    Southeast Michigan
    One idea, as of this morning, i finished setting up an electric water heater. Seems to be working great. Before today, i was doing the morning/evening watering (i work during the day), and i know the water froze some days. Maybe this is a stress molt? Maybe with the new watering system, her body will stop losing feathers?
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I have a 9 month old molting right now.....not unprecedented.
    Birds under a year old go thru several molts their first year.
    First full adult molt usually happens at 18 months to 2 years
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Here's a way to see if she's really cold and needs help staying warm. Hang a heat lamp in the run or wherever they spend the days. If your balding gal hunkers down under the lamp, it means she is grateful for the help in staying warm. I hang it two feet off the ground, and it seems to be just right.

    I have one, a SLW named Alice, who is stalled in molt with three-fourths of her feathers still missing or just halfway grown in. She does hang out under the lamp on very cold days, but ignores it if it's just in the 30s.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. AnnieE

    AnnieE Out Of The Brooder

    61
    4
    38
    Dec 17, 2014
    Southeast Michigan
    Well, i think it was a stress molt brought on by inconsistent water availability. The electric water heater is working beautifully and she hasnt lost any more feathers. In fact, her scruffy neck area appears to be growing back in. So yeah!
     

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