Molting too young?

Mar 22, 2018
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So a few of my hens are only 10 months old and they appear to be molting. One in particular looks like she is losing all of her neck feathers(not just the few the rooster would pulls out)and a bit around her body. Others have their tail feathers missing. I understand they are not supposed to molt until 18 months. I do have two rather rambuncous young roosters I have not culled yet. I have not noticed the roosters going after the one who has lost the most amount of feathers.

On a possible related not I did have one hen die recently, I think she got stung by a bee while trying to eat it. The only evidence is blood in her mouth and one side of her jaw was really swollen, but maybe she go sick? She was already a sickly chicken (she had a crooked neck that prevented her from moving around much, but she grew and appear healthy until this incident) Could it have something to do with the others molting early?
 

Wyorp Rock

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So a few of my hens are only 10 months old and they appear to be molting. One in particular looks like she is losing all of her neck feathers(not just the few the rooster would pulls out)and a bit around her body. Others have their tail feathers missing. I understand they are not supposed to molt until 18 months. I do have two rather rambuncous young roosters I have not culled yet. I have not noticed the roosters going after the one who has lost the most amount of feathers.

On a possible related not I did have one hen die recently, I think she got stung by a bee while trying to eat it. The only evidence is blood in her mouth and one side of her jaw was really swollen, but maybe she go sick? She was already a sickly chicken (she had a crooked neck that prevented her from moving around much, but she grew and appear healthy until this incident) Could it have something to do with the others molting early?
Can you post some photos?
 

rebrascora

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Yes photos would be helpful but with the current information supplied my bet would be the two young males. Early morning and late afternoon are the prime times for them to be mating so perhaps she is suffering their attentions when you are not there to witness it. That is the commonest cause for their backs being bare. If it was moulting, you should see pin feathers coming through.
 

rebrascora

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As regards the other hen, we would only be guessing. Was she the same age? A sickly pullet with a wry neck that dies suddenly might have Marek's and two young bucks stressing the girls would be one of the common triggers for an outbreak. It can cause tumours as well as neurological symptoms and other sickness, so the facial swelling may have been a tumour or an abscess as a result of a sinus infection. The blood might be down to the others pecking her because she was sick or perhaps an abscess burst. Purely guesses but I would be looking to remove those males or at least one of them at the earliest opportunity for the sake of your flock's wellbeing.
 
Mar 22, 2018
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Quazie was her name she was the same age as the others. She was doing fine no problems. I have a bee hive as well. And I came out one day to find dried blood and clots and feathers in her mouth I didn't really notice the swollen jaw till the next day.
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Mar 22, 2018
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Yes photos would be helpful but with the current information supplied my bet would be the two young males. Early morning and late afternoon are the prime times for them to be mating so perhaps she is suffering their attentions when you are not there to witness it. That is the commonest cause for their backs being bare. If it was moulting, you should see pin feathers coming through.
Their backs aren't bare it is more along the chest and necks that is looking a bit bare.
 

rebrascora

Free Ranging
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Consett Co.Durham. UK
I keep bees too and have 9 hives in my garden right next to my chickens some of which forage underneath the hives, but never had a problem with a bee sting. Not saying it couldn't happen but if she had other health issues then there was a good chance it was something else in my opinion. The photo doesn't really show the feather loss very well. Can you take a photo from above?
 

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