Molting in July?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by diane T, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. diane T

    diane T Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 16, 2010
    My hens appear to be molting but it is only July. Aside from not laying, they seem OK. Three of my birds are 5 month old pullets and they are losing feathers too, but not as bad as the hens. Is it normal to go into molt so eary?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    These links might help you determine what is going on. You are looking at them and we are not. You may see things we can't.

    Mississippi State describes molting
    http://msucares.com/poultry/management/poultry_feathers.html

    Kansas State feather loss
    http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/library/lvstk2/mf2308.pdf

    Different things can cause a molt. The one everyone is familiar with is when the days get shorter in the fall. I don't know where you are located, so I don't know if that is your problem. Stress can cause a molt; predator attack, moving them to a new home, changes ot the pecking order, going without food or especially water. Maybe going without water in this heat wave could trigger a molt. Juveniles go through a couple of juvenile molts. Your 5-month-olds seem a little old for that, but maybe they are slow maturing birds, like Jersey Giants or Brahmas.

    I can guess and speculate but really can't tell you what is going on. Hopefully those links will help. Good luck!
     
  3. diane T

    diane T Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the info.
    I really think they are molting. The only stress in their lives would be the recent heat (N. CA), NEVER without water or food.
     
  4. karmical

    karmical Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for starting this thread!! I was just about to post the same topic...I have a Partridge Rock who has started to molt super early this year and I'm not sure why. I live in Western NY state...my flock just turned three in June and their last two molts began well into Fall so I'm curious what could be going on with this one hen. She is the least "skilled" drinker of the bunch and it's been unusually super hot and humid here this summer. Wondering if her lack of good drinking technique is keeping her from getting adequate water to keep her from being stressed into a molt? (She never quite figured out how to scoop water into her beak...she pecks at the water like she's bobbing for apples...gets water in her nostrils, gets annoyed with drinking and walks away).

    My Buff Orpington is also loosing some feathers, but not nearly at the same rate as my Rock girl. The Orp girl has just tried to go broody, but I broke it on the second day. She hasn't come back into lay yet. Wondering if the stress of breaking her from being broody and the heat has her out of whack and starting to drop the feathers. I'm so used to my girls being hardy creatures, for the most part, that it's a little worrying when things don't go as you are used to!

    Is anyone else out there experiencing an early molt this summer?

    Thanks!
     
  5. bigmommahen

    bigmommahen New Egg

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    Not sure about molting, this is our first flock and we are new eggs! But our 6 girls and 1 roo (we think) have been throwing off feathers like crazy we are also in N. CA has been hot but not now, Also just noticed one of my Brahma's has missing feathers (very noticeable) under her wings and on her legs. Is this normal for this breed the others look fine. I just introduced last night the DE food grade could this have something to do with this? She's a real easy going chick would hate to loose her! Can anyone suggest what this is?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  6. mjelse

    mjelse Out Of The Brooder

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    Mine molt at different times throught eh year. I talked to a breeder about it once, and he said hens can molt any time in the year. My rooster molted this spring, as did a couple of hens. I know stress can trigger molting, but I also wonder if a flock doesn't stagger its molts so that not too many are molting at the same time. I only say this because I think I may have noticed a trend, which is that the dominant birds molt on the fall and others seem to molt in the spring. They are highly social birds, and I wonder if because molting is dangerous to one's health they are adapted so that not too many will molt simultaneously.
     
  7. beckt

    beckt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some of mine are molting here to. They are my older girls. They are 6 years old and never ever molted this early in the year. Usually early to late fall. Maybe its the heat or that we are expecting a very severe winter and they just seem to sense it. Has be kinda baffled.
     
  8. OregonChickenGal

    OregonChickenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Same here a couple of mine started the molt also. Some usually do this time of year.
     
  9. chkn

    chkn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are they where they can get plenty of sunshine? I know if they're confined to a fairly shady area they can go into molt early. Also think about treating for mites and lice, etc.
     

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