MOLTING Questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Biddieacres, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. Biddieacres

    Biddieacres Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    I have done searches and not coming up with much information so I thought I would post. I have a 16 month old hen who has been loosing feathers. I came home today to find feathers everywhere and almost her entire tail is GONE! All but 1 feather. I thought there was an attack.

    Is it normal for this age to molt?

    Is it true that this is the time of year for Molting? Fall?

    Would it happen so fast that the whole tail would be gone in an afternoon?

    I have never been through molting yet so this is all new to me.
    Thanks for any info you may have!
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2009
  2. Biddieacres

    Biddieacres Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2009
  3. chickenporkarosa

    chickenporkarosa In the Brooder

    Oct 20, 2008
    lupton, michigan
    I'm not sure, but it sounds like molting. Mine are doing the same thing. I thought it might be lack of calcium or protein. I've read that they eat the feathers for protein so that might be the problem also, but I'm still looking at other ideas' and am going to buy some crushed shells for calcium and see how they do, because I still don't know. I have 14 R.I.Rs and only 6 or 7 are doing this. I thought I might have a rooster in there, cause I hatched 10 of my own to add to my old flock three months ago and 5 were roosters. I thought I got rid of all of them but might've missed one, but still not sure yet. We have an Amish feed store and Henry will know what it is. Can't ask him til Monday though. I'll let you know when I talk to him.
  4. cackle

    cackle Songster

    Jul 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    Sounds like molting to me. I heard when you walk in the coop/run and it looks like a pillow fight they are molting.

    Mine are getting close to the 18 month mark so I know they will go through their first molt soon.
  5. Quote:Don`t be concerned, all is well.......Pop
  6. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    Birds go through moult differently. Some lose their feathers very gradually and you never notice they're in a moult, while others drop them all at once. I had an araucana hen jump down off the roost, shake herself down and a pile of feathers flew out of her like there was a pillow fight. Now she just looks like a sorry, sad porcupine. I would agree all is well and she'll be pretty as new in no time.
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I have one hen, 17 months old, looked perfectly fine yesterday morning. She was one of few that weren't molting.
    Last evening she was getting ready to go into the coop, stopped and shook her whole body.
    Suddenly she was naked from the neck down. [​IMG] Nothing left but some fluff.
    If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed it.
    So yes, yours sound normal.
  9. Biddieacres

    Biddieacres Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    THANKS everyone! I feel much better. I figured it was a molt but feel better hearing it from people who have been there before! I am amazed at the stories of how fast it can happen. How they can shake and loose that many feathers. You learn something new everyday! [​IMG]

    Cackle! You are right! It does look like a pillow fight in the coop!

    Ridgerunner, thanks for the link

    and Pop, thanks, spoken just like my Pop would have. [​IMG]
  10. computer_chicken

    computer_chicken Chirping

    Jun 18, 2008
    Eastern PA
    A couple of my hens are now starting to loose feathers for the first time, they are about 16 months old. Also egg production is down. I think that is normal from what I read.

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