Molting information please?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Lucysmom002, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. Lucysmom002

    Lucysmom002 Chillin' With My Peeps

    408
    1
    111
    May 6, 2011
    Wisconsin
    Why are my five month old pullets losing feathers? I've been reading and it says they shouldn't molt until 18 months old?
    I was told by someone in my neighborhood that giving them fresh corn will cause a molt. Is there any truth to that? I have a couple sick hens and they are full of new feathers coming in. I'm wondering if the molting is related? I've read now that starving hens will molt and people actually do that purposely?? The two that are sick are very thin. I don't know if that is because of molting or if being thin caused the molting.
     
  2. Ema

    Ema Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    In order for us to help you we need more information in regards to your hens that are exhibiting symptoms of illness. If you go to the top of this area copy and paste the questions here and answer them to the best of your ability.

    Juvenile chickens can look pretty terrible as their feathers come in, they molt three times before they get their adult plumage, however the first couple times they just look rather rough not as bad as they will look at 18 months of age, mine are currently molting and well look rather unkept. Often times they can look rather scrawny too,

    What are you feeding your chickens, at this point they should be on chicken grower, corn to a chicken is the equivalent of junk food to a human. Its not very nutritional at all and thus if you are only feeding them corn they are not getting proper nutrition.

    I had a lot to learn when I decided to get chickens, I learned everything from here and in the search are up above if you type what you are looking for you will find many many useful pages to help you in feeding your chickens properly, or any other information you are looking for. Sometimes though, there is so much mixed information that you have to make a choice on our own on what you prefer.

    When I got my first flock, they were only tiny chicks when they arrived, after brooding them and feeding them the medicated starter I switched them to grower at the right age and kept them on that until they began laying. I also fed them kitchen scraps like left over vegies, here is the treat chart...

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2593-Treats_Chart

    I also fed them scratch as a treat about a cup or so sprinkled on the ground to encourage scratching and foraging.

    During times where they need more of a nutritional boost, like when they are feathers are coming in or in most cases off, I give mine cottage cheese or plain yogurt, canned chickpeas, undrained, they love the liquid, I cook up lentils too for them and they just love it. I also feed them eggs and their shells.

    I take the clean shells and stick them in the oven for 5 minutes to dry them up good and then I crush them real well and mix it with their food. It increases their protein and gets calcium right back into them. I also include alfalfa pellets in the winter when they cannot get to fresh green grass.

    this time of year is the perfect time to deworm your chickens as a precaution, one thing chickens really love is squash and pumpkin, pumpkin is a natural dewormer and quite good for them, I have a big flock so I cut my big ol pumpkin in 4 pieces and throw it in the run for them. when I come back in a couple of hours its all gone!!

    Apple cider vinegar is good to put into your chicken water to keep their digestive system clean, never add it to a metal waterer, only plastic ones, I add about 2tbsp per gallon of water. it doesn't really affect the taste of the water and its good for them.

    try to avoid corn as much as you can, I feed it fresh or cracked(dry) as a treat and in very small amounts as I already said corn is junk food, a filler and I will tell you that it makes them fat and lazy and if you are counting on eggs, corn is not the best idea as a food, not bad as a treat cause they do like it. A good wholesome treat is Black oil sunflower seeds, my chickens get them a few times per week as a treat but their main food is whatever they eat out in the field and their pellets.


    keep us posted,

    Ema
     
  3. Ema

    Ema Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    Ohhh, please do not starve your hens, not that I think you would, but I wanted to add that in now that I re read your post, Starving them is just barbaric and well I wouldn't want to be starved :)

    Ema
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by