Molting in winter in Wyoming, pale combs, and no eggs

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by highplainschick, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. highplainschick

    highplainschick New Egg

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    Oct 24, 2014
    Wyoming, USA
    Bad timing. Three of my 2.5 year old girls (brahmas and wyandottes) have decided to molt. Nobody is laying, and one has a very pail comb. What the heck? This all came on suddenly, and I have no clue if I should be worried or not. There is no sign of parasites or worms, but I dewormed just to be sure using Safeguard. This is my first crisis ever and my first little flock. They've always been healthy and good layers. I do expect eggs to slow down when the weather turns cold, and I know molting effects laying, but I didn't expect this. One of them is very sluggish (and it's not the one with the pale comb). They are not at all themselves, and I'm really worried! Am I overreacting? Do I they need supplements because of the molting?
     
  2. katelk

    katelk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2013
    White Bluff, TN
    I am experiencing the same thing. I cannot offer much knowledge as this is my first molting experience, but I can say that I have also been shocked and worried lately. I am getting maybe one egg a day and half the time not even that. A bunch of my girls and one of my Roos decided to suddenly sneeze off all their feathers and alter their personalities. It is certainly worrisome, but I believe it is normal for birds of age this time of year.
    The only thing you can do is offer them more protein. I have been told that during a molt, a feed with no less than 20% protein is best. I have not changed feed, but have been offering supplemental proteins by giving them treats like cans of tuna (packed in water, not oil), hot dogs, and kitchen leftovers that are proteins. One of my girls that started early is already covered in healthy looking pin feathers, so I suppose that everything is going well.
    Do not worry yourself too much! They have it under control. The lack of eggs is the worst part. Just offer extra protein :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2014
  3. highplainschick

    highplainschick New Egg

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    Oct 24, 2014
    Wyoming, USA

    Thank you! I just got a chicken supplement (Complete's Stress Pack) and some mealy worms (for protein and happiness). I am hoping the combination will help them through this stressful period.

    I will keep you posted.
     
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Pretty normal for birds this age. Most of my current flock is two years old, a couple are 5 1/2 years old. All are at some point of molt at this time and I have zero eggs from them right now. Most of them are cranky and less active then normal, especially the ones covered in pin feathers. It's an uncomfortable time for them. I just let them be, feed them well and offer a little extra protein. I do add Avian Super Pack vitamins to their water as well.

    They are all a bit paler in their combs since they are not laying but I did have one hen who really was extremely pale. Had some fecal tests done and discovered she had tape worms. Treated them all with Valbazen for their regular fall worming and she has since regained her color very nicely.
     
  5. highplainschick

    highplainschick New Egg

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    Oct 24, 2014
    Wyoming, USA
    This is my first experience with molting, and nothing could have prepared me for how intense this is. Your information has been very reassuring.
     
  6. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 3, 2013
    Arizona
    I'm going through the same thing here.

    My SS Hamburgs have been the best layers up until 6-8 weeks ago. Their feathers just fell off and combs shriveled up, got really pale. I expected that to some degree, this is their first adult molt. I didn't expect to get zero eggs for months though. I know it's been rough on them, so I don't expect miracles, but I want to make sure they're okay. I feed them crumbles and give them mealworms, canned salmon, they eat some cat food when they can get it away from the cat. Just not sure this is enough because they have their feathers back now, but combs are still pale and they aren't laying at all.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014

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