molting question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by GrayAcres, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. GrayAcres

    GrayAcres Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 4, 2009
    My 5 girls are now 1 year old. For several days I've noticed feathers around their run but didn't think about molting. This week one girl came out with a bald neck. We thought she had been pecked so we isolated her and applied BluKote. The skin was not bleeding or raw really. This is our first experience. I hope we didn't do anything wrong.
    My question, did applying BluKote do anything to stop the probable molt? Should I try to wash it off?
    Second question, the girls are all getting mean to each other. Is this common during molt?
    Thanks
     
  2. Crack N' Egg

    Crack N' Egg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 29, 2009
    Flemington, NJ
    [​IMG] I'm curious about molting too. I've never noticed my girls balding, so to say. But I notice that lately there are a whole lotta feathers everywhere.
    Also my mommy silkies are balding around the neck as well.

    Sorry couldn't help, but we're in the same boat [​IMG]

    Molting seems to be very confusing for me...
     
  3. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Definitely sounds like molt, but visually inspect them for lice/mites just to be sure. BluKote wont hurt them,you've done nothing wrong. BluKote wont stop a molt, dont bother washing it off. When one hen or more is in molt, the others most likely pick on the ones that are in molt because they think something is wrong with them, it's their way of 'only the strong survive.,' it's natural instinct. You need to distract them from picking/pecking on each other. Try hanging a half head of cabbage just a little above their heads in their pen. They try to jump up and eat it, keeping them busy. While they are in molt, give them plain yogurt or buttermilk (probiotics) to help keep their immune system strong and healthy...also mix in scrambled eggs (protein), they need the extra protein to regrow new feathers. Add the yogurt, eggs to their feed to make a mash and give it to them. You dont have to do this everyday, maybe twice a week because it takes awhile to get feathers back. Their egg production just about stops as well.
     
  4. GrayAcres

    GrayAcres Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! I hope we make it through this without worrying ourselves about it. Sounds like it is an unsightly process. How long does it last?
     
  5. Crack N' Egg

    Crack N' Egg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So how many times a year do they molt??? [​IMG]
     
  6. GrayAcres

    GrayAcres Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm not sure about chickens but I know that penguins only molt one time a year. I'm guess chickens do too. I'm wondering how long this lasts? The feathers are not coming out very fast it seems but they have already quit laying and are getting meaner by the day!
     
  7. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Chickens normally molt once a year, but I've had them go longer without a molt, almost 2 years. Sometimes they'll go into a mini molt, they might only lose their tail feathers for example. If it's a mini molt, it doesnt last long and they'll usually lay eggs in a several weeks. However, with a full blown molt, it could take several months. I currently have 6 hens in molt myself, one of my Barred Rocks is in full molt....she looks ragged too, poor girl.
     
  8. swordgeek

    swordgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 23, 2010
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    So the fact that my 4-ish-week-olds are losing some feathers now (but not all) would be a mini-molt, and my 2.25-y-o rooster losing almost ALL of his gorgeous tail is normal?

    The weird thing is, he did a full molt last fall, along with all of the hens of his age - the 18-month molt, I guess. They looked absolutely pathetic . This year, so far at least, only he among the 2-y-o's is losing feathers left and right. Normal, I hope? The funny thing is, he's the one the kids always wanted to show at the 4-H fair, but he's the one who loses all his goodies right around fair time! Maybe he just wants to stay home. [​IMG]
     

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