Molting now?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Iowachild, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. Iowachild

    Iowachild New Egg

    Jun 11, 2016
    It seems like the wrong time of year for my chickens to start molting but they are loosing feathers like crazy and notice major changes on back just before tail feathers. They didn't molt in the fall as they were too young and started laying in Nov/Dec. it has been warm off and on this month but not warm enough to notice any pest. Does it make sense they would be molting now?
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    Molting can happen at any time of the year. It is most common in the fall, but the change light levels of spring can also bring it on.
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    If you are in Iowa and the chickens are adults that should not be molting this time of year. Your description of feather loss pattern is consistent with birds actively removing feathers by pecking. Such behavior can be induced by feather parasites or a nutritional deficiency.

    See video on how to check for lice and mites. It can serve as a starter.

    My approach to lice and might management is allowing access to dust bath.

    If dietary, then birds likely eating feathers. Increase protein level of diet. I do that my mixing in a little chicken starter when using purchased feed.

    Neither approach will reverse damage but should stop progression. Improvement not like to occur until molt next fall.
    1 person likes this.
  4. Husker Chick

    Husker Chick Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 17, 2016
    I'm in Nebraska and my chickens were molting in the dead of winter. I was worried sick, as I'm new to chickens, but they're fine now. I fed them FeatherFixer in their feed to help feathers grow in faster.
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri

    Somehow your birds were stressed to induce out of season molt. The molting in dead of winter was an additional stressor. Surviving does not mean all is well.

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