Molting... isn’t normal or is it?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by BarneyNCyndi, Nov 13, 2018.

  1. BarneyNCyndi

    BarneyNCyndi Chirping

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    We have six girls and they are different ages. Our oldest is 4 1/2years old (Trouble); the name says it all and she is top hen. The next three (Lacey, Lucy &Lucky) are 2-1/2 and the next two (Betty & Beauty) are one. All are different breeds and all are molting except Trouble. No one has bad plucking behaviors. What could make them molt? Our girls free range and are all on feather fix, now. We supplement with mealworms, fresh cucumbers and other goodies such as collard greens. We have 15sq coop and a mini coop which is sixsq. We keep pine shavings on the floor and change them everey 2-3 as needed. We have also keep diatomaceous earth in our nesting boxes.

    We have had no egg production and as I stated 5 are molting. Plus our weather has been down to the 30’s - cold weather and half naked chickens makes me worry.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

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    It's that time of year. Some birds molt gradually and others have full blown/make um naked kind of molts. It is my impression that pin feathers mature more rapidly when it is cold ?
     
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  3. Rachel Taylor

    Rachel Taylor Crowing

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    Normal to molt this time of year. The severity can differ from bird to bird and to year from year They should be fine with the feather loss in the 30’s. We’re having similar weather and I’ve got a couple half naked now also. A couple of mine hit a late molt last year...like around Christmas and it was bad. It got down to single digits at night a couple times and they were just fine
     
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  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Crossing the Road

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  5. BarneyNCyndi

    BarneyNCyndi Chirping

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    Last year at this time, I had a very naked chicken fall over and stumbling around my yard. My neighbors were all upset. Needless to say, Lacey spent Thanksgiving on vacation with us. Thank goodness we rented a getaway cabin.
     
  6. BarneyNCyndi

    BarneyNCyndi Chirping

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    We put up plastic shower curtains around our run but they love to freerange. I just find it odd that all 5 of 6 are molting. Just strange.
     
  7. Rachel Taylor

    Rachel Taylor Crowing

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    They will all molt around this time of year. I have 4 molting now and expect more soon
     
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  8. They typically molt in the fall so they can replace their year-old broken and dirty feathers with brand new warm ones for the coming winter. Nothing to worry about. Some molt slowly and others run around half naked, but it's still normal. Feather fix is good because it will provide additional protein and calcium to make new feathers. They also typically stop laying when they molt because their bodies are busy making feathers, so energy goes to that. They may or may not begin laying again after the molt, just depends on the individual bird. My silkie girl lays through most of the winter except for the shortest days in December and January, but she's the only one. The other 5 have stopped and won't start again until the spring if they do what they did last year.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    All but one of my older birds(18 & 30 month olds) are in various stages of molting now.
    The one that is not molting is still laying and has had a bare back for months.
    Have had other bare backs in the past make it thru winter just fine.
     
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  10. BarneyNCyndi

    BarneyNCyndi Chirping

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    Thank you all. I know that I am very fortunate to have neighbors concerned about our girls. When we have good weather grandparents bring their grandchildren by to see our girls. Of course, Trouble is first to the fence to see if they have any treats. If I am home, I hand the little ones cucumber slices, blueberries or other favorites to feed the girls. We raise our girls to be polite and not grab. It is really fun too see. Have a great day!
     
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