Molting process

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ImNotYogi, Aug 21, 2016.

  1. ImNotYogi

    ImNotYogi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm a new flock owner and they're coming up on 16 months this week. My rooster's tail feathers are falling out and I've noticed his hackles are starting to get a bit thin. My female EE's wings are starting to thin out too. The other birds (GLW and Legbars) don't seem to be losing feathers at this point. I've read that molting typically starts at the hackles then basically works its way down. Is that just the typical pattern molting takes or could it be something else like parasites? This may be a silly question but I'm wondering for myself and any new owners who don't know what to expect.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    Every bird molts in its own way, but usually follows the pattern you are seeing. Some molt slowly, taking months, others do it it in weeks. Usually your poorer layers and roosters molt first with your best layers molting late and hard. Most years it starts in August and can run until December.
     
  3. ImNotYogi

    ImNotYogi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks the reply. How can I help them? Just get some feather fixer feed? Increase protein intake? I've been waiting for them to start molting but I have to say seeing the roosters tail startled me for a second. His normal self most of the day then I see him and half his tail feathers are missing.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    Good protein intake is the best thing you can do during it, as well as not handling them too much as for some it can be a bit painful. Provide hiding spots and be aware some may try to sleep in the nestboxes. In a few months time all your chickens should look shiny and new again and be ready to go through winter and to resume laying.
     
  5. Naser

    Naser Chillin' With My Peeps

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    when my hens molt I give them chicks starter crumbs, it contains 20% protein, they love it, if you have laying hens, be sure they have oyster shell to eat at well.
    Other things to try are cat food and apple cider vinegar
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Haha...I have several 'tailless' chickens right now, including the cockbird...they are funny looking....and I'm finding lots of saddle and hackle feathers from him too.
    Yep, it's molting season for many birds.

    I feed a 20% 'all flock' type crumble all the time, and provide oyster shell in a separate container for the birds that are laying.
    Canned fish can be good too, in moderation....but cat food can have too much salt.
     

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