Molting, lack of eggs, distress. HELP! I'm new

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jesbaur, Oct 24, 2009.

  1. jesbaur

    jesbaur New Egg

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    Oct 24, 2009
    Something was getting into mt chicken coop and eating the eggs. Its been about two weeks since I've gotten an egg, I noticed the eggs drop off after I found broken egg shells in the coop. Obviously the break in caused a lot of stress among the chicks.
    This is also the same time the molting began. The day i noticed the broken eggs, some of our alpha females feathers were ruffled and pointing in the wrong directions. Since then, she lost more and more feathers for a few days and now has large patches of feathers missing, she's probably 3/5 covered with feathers. The other two have had a bit of molting but nowhere nearly as much.
    I've since discovered where the pest (probably a rodent) was getting in, and I've secured the coop and run more heabily. Being relatively new to this I'm not sure the steps to proceed with going forward, the chicks are a little more than a year old.

    Should contact a veterinarian to have them checked out?

    How does stress affect a chicks egg laying abilities?

    Does molting of this magnitude occur regularly or could it be a disease or illness?

    What can i do to get them laying again?
     
  2. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    You don't say where you're located - this would be useful info. What is their diet?
    Molting is normal at certain times of year (when depends in part upon where you are) though not always the cause of feather loss.
    During molting their bodies need to take a rest from egg laying as molting uses a tremendous amount of energy.
    This is a time for very good nutrition (extra protein), low stress, keeping them comfortable if they are missing a lot of feathers and are in a cold climate - in general a time for TLC.
    This site has a wealth of knowledge about all of these things so you can, for example, use the "search" function to look up molt, molting, feather loss....
    JJ
     
  3. jesbaur

    jesbaur New Egg

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    Oct 24, 2009
    I'm in charlotte nc. Not what i would call cold, but we have been cooling in recent weeks. I've been feeding them laying feed pellets and i throw out scratch feed every day or every other day.
    Thanks for the advice!
     
  4. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    Okay, good. It is a common time for molting there. For an added nutritional boost I have offered scrambled egg, a bit of high quality cat food (due to salt content many advise not giving too much of this), salmon (he likes it, she hates it, but I tried it after a BYCer in Alaska said her hens loved it), sunflower seeds (I provide these 365 days a year), plain yogurt with bits of fresh fruit mized in, and many other things. During a molt, it can be challenging to find foods they will like - things my hen normally loves she hates now during her severe molt, so I have to work on it. Since this molt is particularly bad, I have been working hard to get her through it. Keeping her warm enough has been important.
    Hope your feathered friends will be just fine.
    JJ
     
  5. mgalll

    mgalll Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2009
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    I am in the mnts of northern , PA, already had snow but has warmed up since. I have not seen my hens molt yet, I did notice alot of feathers late this summer but I figured that was because it got hot out. They never looked like any of the molting chickens I have seen on here. The cold is coming very soon. Should they have molted by now??
     
  6. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    They molt when they molt. Changes in the weather seems to trigger it, but there's no way to predict. [​IMG] I don't think there's any 'should' that can be figured out.
     
  7. mjdtexan

    mjdtexan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2008
    Houston(ish)
    jesbaur, I hope you dont mind me asking jjthink a question or two in your thread.

    jjthink, what is the average age for molting? My girls are a year old this week and I have not seen any molting yet.
     
  8. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    They will molt, regardless if they haven't yet. Either you have a light molter or heavy molter.
     

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