Molting?... this time of the year?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Dar, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

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    I went out to the coop this morning and had the time to actually sit and visit with my chickens for the first time in many months. DH has been feeding and watering for me.

    I went to pick one of the hens up and noticed that she has new feather shafts growing in all on her underside , and there are feathers ALL OVER THE PLACE black ones and white ones, i got a hold of one of my black sex links and its the same thing

    I looked for mites...clear
    lice...clear
    any other crawling insect...clear

    they get DE in their bedding and in their food so I am lead to believe they are molting but its -10C here... have they gone crazy?
     
  2. valentinebaby

    valentinebaby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nope, she's molting, I think...some of mine started a few days after we had an unbelievably and unseasonal cold snap hit us here in North Texas - was in the teens at night off and on for almost 2 weeks. One day it was in the 70's and the next it was 17! Had my hubbie get some kitten feed since I read here on BYC it can help and/or speed up the molting process. My picky eaters insist on smash it up and add milk to make it softer - they hate anything that resembles a hard pellet!

    I panicked at 1st too, but I've done some research and sometimes they molt early. Hopefully, some of the experts here will respond!

    Gail
     
  3. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, they're molting. I switched over to 22% gamebird feed and have oyster shell out free choice for the ones that are still laying. The extra protien helps the feathers come in faster, you don't have to do it, but it will speed things along a bit. You can also feed some of their eggs back to them (cooked) for an occasional protien boost and treat.
     
  4. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

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    Yep, definitely molting. I still have two hens that haven't molted yet [​IMG]
     
  5. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    They got the message a month late. [​IMG]
     
  6. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:[​IMG] yep they are my chickens then... I am late for everything.. i was late being born.. i was even late for my own wedding
     
  7. startingaflock

    startingaflock Out Of The Brooder

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    For the last couple of weeks one of my dominiques has had the feathers at her lower back (right before the tail feathers) kind of ruffled, I just thought that it was from the rooster but today when I went out she has a whole patch of feathers missing. Is this what moulting is? No one else seems to have missing feathers. Also, she is still laying. Anyone help?[​IMG]
     
  8. valentinebaby

    valentinebaby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Half of my flock is molting and the other half isn't. Just like "when do they start laying", chickens molt at their own time. Most of the molters are losing their feathers fast, but one is taking her time and losing feathers here and there. One of my chicken books says you can tell how fast they will molt by looking at their primary feathers, 1-10, with 10 being the most "outer" feather. If feather #1 falls out separate from #2 and #3, then it is considered a slow molt. If feathers 1-3 fall out together and regrow back together, then it is considered a fast molt. (Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens), p. 131.
     
  9. valentinebaby

    valentinebaby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Forgot to add: I heard here on BYC that some chickens do continue laying (not as often) while they molt. I know that must be true because I'm down to 2 Easter Eggers and one is in FULL molt and lays an egg every now and then for me...so some days I get 2 blue eggs.
     
  10. FaereChicken

    FaereChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Speckeld Sussex was down to wing primaries last week, and I've been heating the coop day & night because it's cold!! Her new ones are coming in nicely
     

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