Molting or is it more?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by millerchix, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. millerchix

    millerchix Chillin' With My Peeps

    51
    5
    91
    Jul 8, 2012
    I have 4 chickens all different breeds but they are all reaching about 1 yr old. Our Delaware has not produced an egg for several days now and the back end is bare. I read that when they molt egg laying will stop, but is it normal to molt before a year old? And do they usually start at the back end? When daylight hours were shortening we did add a light to the coop to continue production and the others have continued to lay. Should I be concerned or assume it is molting? Suggestions please.
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    39,821
    1,299
    516
    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    It doesn't usually start at the back end. Do you have a picture? Is it above the tail, or below the vent?
     
  3. millerchix

    millerchix Chillin' With My Peeps

    51
    5
    91
    Jul 8, 2012
    This is the best pic I could get. The bald spot seems bigger in person. It is below the tail around the vent. She has not produced and egg since Feb 4th.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,427
    63
    246
    Dec 2, 2009
    Sunny side up :)
    Not molting. It looks more like someone is picking her feathers. You can try spraying blue kote on her to prevent further picking. It usually works for me. If it is severe and they keep doing it, you may have to separate her for awhile. She is probably not laying due to the stress of having her feathers pulled out and should resume once the picking stops for a while.
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    39,821
    1,299
    516
    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    That's not molting. Either somebody else is picking at her, or she is plucking them herself. Have you checked her for lice? That will cause them to pull out their feathers and make the skin red like that. Flip her upside down and look for them around her vent.
     
  6. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,735
    117
    188
    Nov 16, 2012
    If the feathers around the vent look kinda like q-tips or quills then it is mites or lice...I guess the next step would be bald spots...we have never gotten past q-tip feathers so far. Do you have an area for your chickens to dustbathe?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by