Molting? Questions

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Kaybug137, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. Kaybug137

    Kaybug137 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quite a bit of my girls have stopped laying, my Maran's feather's around her neck fell out also on her face, but I don't see balding anywhere else, My EE Blondie hasn't started laying yet and shes about 9 months now, but all the other's are. So far I'm having 3 layers right now and I normaly have 9 laying out of the 10 girls, Not sure if they'ree laying somewhere else or not, and my Australorp is still laying but her back feathers close to her tail is balding but not sure if it's cause of my Roo'.

    Also will young pullets or roo's molt too? My silkie boys are 4 months and the other 3 youngsters are 3, and their feathers seem to slightly fall out, they're still small, except my Jersey giant she's bigger than my silkies. It's been a while since I had young ones though. And this is my first molt, if theey are. Why molt around the cold seasons why not summer when they can be cooler silly chickens!
    And are there cheaper ways to feed them other than the pellets, like the way people use to feed them before the feed nowdays, and when and if they go broody would the babies have to be on starter/grower? I'm feeding them all flock and its pretty exspencive, any other feeds for a mixed age flock that don't cost as much?
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    All chickens will go through a partial molt around 10 or 12 weeks, and an annual molt that first happens around 18 months -- often in cooler weather. A bald back end (without other feather loss) might be due to another cause such as feather picking or lice / mites. Many recommend increasing protein intake during a molt with a higher % protein feed such as meat bird or game bird feed, along with protein supplements such as canned fish, black oil sunflower seeds, etc. This is because feathers are mostly protein. Since they generally don't lay during a molt, there is no worry about not feeding layer with its extra calcium for eggshells. Of course, it's also good to keep stress levels down if you can -- don't move them, don't add new chickens, etc. if possible. They usually don't much like to be handled during a molt, even chickens who are usually "lap chickens."

    I don't know much at all about feeding chickens except with commercial formulas, but there have been many discussions of this here. You might want to check out our Feeding and Watering your Flock forum for that.

    http://ohioline.osu.edu/vme-fact/0018.html
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  3. Kaybug137

    Kaybug137 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could the feather loss of my Australorp (Peng is her name) be due to the rooster? I heard Rooster's are rough with the girls, specially with them nails (ouuuch I do feel bad for the girls 3 roo's but the other 2 are 4 monthers) I believe beans have protein would Kidney beans work? I can ask my parent's when they get more feed to get game bird which I fed them when they were younger with my ducks, I really do need to also get shells for my layers been meaning to, they also free range so good source of yucky bugs which are so delish to them yet nasty to us XD. and my dad would throw a fit if I got my chickens I've already got 16 plus 2 male ducks which I need to get them some girls before they get the chickens. Also I do ffeed eggs every once an a while which has protein.


    And if they ever go broody, and the eggs have hatched would I have to give starter/grower, or could I just keep them on either game bird or all flock?
     
  4. Kaybug137

    Kaybug137 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also it couldn't be lice, she's laying me a pink or peach colored egg pink to me every day, and she's a little piglet also she act's healthy as can be.
    Also, they do get dandroff how ever that's spelled, like flakey little specks come off them but that could be dead skin (Don't we all shed skin?) And it could also be pieces of shoots the little guy's cover me in feathers at the moment and flakes of shoot's which got me worried slightly but it is molting time so figured they molt too.
     
  5. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

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    Sounds like they are just molting or having a partial molt.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  6. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree that it sounds like molting. I have 2 going through it now and often the neck feathers go first, followed by other parts. Do you notice a lot of feathers under the roost in the morning? That's how I know mine are molting even before they show bare spots. However, most quit laying during a molt - at least all of mine do.
     
  7. Kaybug137

    Kaybug137 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Peng is still laying egg's which is making me think it's Fred my rooster. And why would a chicken pick the coldest months to molt D: I'd wait til its summer seems to makee more since that way, crazy birds they are!
     

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