Molting question? I don't think my hen will molt.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Zaxby's2, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. Zaxby's2

    Zaxby's2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2011
    a place
    Okay, so a couple weeks ago my chickens went through what I figured was molt. None of them molted hard, but egg production slowed down and everyone got new feathers except for my BO hen. Up until a few days ago I had a RIR rooster, 2 RIR hens, and the buff. The buff was his favorite, so when they started molting it didn't suprise me that her back feathers started to come out. Well, it looks like everyone is done molting, but my BO hen looks worse than ever. None of the other hens look this way. It's not just her back feathers anymore, but everything looks ratty. After the RIRs finished molting I got and egg a day from everyone, so I figured they were done, but she still looks bad. Do you think she just has yet to molt? Maybe she has mites? Thanks for any replies.
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    The pictures don't really show it good, but her feathers look old, light, and moth-eaten. [​IMG]
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    That looks like rooster damage, not molting.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    You might want to read these articles. They might help you better understand the molting process. There can be mini-molts and juvenile molts, but a full fledged adult molt is not over in a week or two.

    Mississippi State describes molting
    http://msucares.com/poultry/management/poultry_feathers.html

    Kansas State feather loss
    http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/library/lvstk2/mf2308.pdf

    You don't mention how old they are. It is not at all unusual for pullets that start laying in the summer or fall skip the first fall/winter molt and continue to lay until the next fall. Their feathers look real ratty and the egg shells can lose quite a bit of color before that first adult molt.
     
  4. Zaxby's2

    Zaxby's2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2011
    a place
    Oh, my bad. She's two years old and has gone through molt before, but the first time she didn't have a rooster. When I said a couple weeks ago I meant that's when it ended, it actually took them around a month and a half. I know it's from the rooster mating her, but will she grow her feathers back? My reason or the question is that she didn't show any improvement in the quality of her feathers after she had finished molting, and I wondered if it would get better or if she was just going to have to wait till next year. Now I have the original four with five more laying age pullets, so the rooster should be able to do his business more evenly. [​IMG]
     
  5. moodlymoo

    moodlymoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do chickens molt in their first year? I have 3 Cochin Bannys who are about 20 weeks and was wondering if I should be watching for a molt
     
  6. Zaxby's2

    Zaxby's2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2011
    a place
    Quote:I wouldn't expect yours to at that age. Anyone know if my hens feathers will be replaced?
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    So that is rooster damage but she just finished molting, the way I understand it. I've never had one come out of a molt that way. That rooster muct have been busy!

    If the feather is fullly removed, it should grow back fairly soon. If it is just broken or damaged abut the shaft is still there, which is usually the case with rooster damage, they will not be replaced until her next molt. I suspect you will have to wait another year. You might want to start looking at saddles. He may not let up as much as you expect. For whatever reasons, some hens are more prone to that type of damage than others. Often when it is just one that is damaged, that specific hen makes herself more available and the rooster takes advantage of the opportunity.

    Chicken Saddle Patterns
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=407575
     

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