Molting?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Dixiebelles, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. Dixiebelles

    Dixiebelles In the Brooder

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    Aug 20, 2019
    I have three golden laced wyandottes that are a year old this week. I live in Florida, so it's pretty hot, and I wasn't too concerned when their egg production dropped off the last couple of weeks, even though they've been really good layers. I'm now down to one egg a day, if I'm lucky, and the coop is FULL of feathers the last few days. Everyone is mite-free, no one has any bald spots yet, and I do see new feathers coming in on two of them. They seem fine, other than perhaps being a little thinner than usual. Everything I've read says chickens don't usually molt until they're closer to 16 or 18 months, but I have no idea what else it could be. Do I need to change them to a special feed with more protein? Supplement with mealworms and boiled eggs? I'm particularly nervous about my girls since my Brown Leghorn died suddenly a few weeks ago. She perfectly was fine when we let them out to free range for the day, and an hour later she was collapsed in the coop. :(
     
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  2. DuckWhisperer06

    DuckWhisperer06 Songster

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    Ours just turned a year old this week, too. Ours have already started molting, and feathers are EVERYWHERE. Most days we only get an egg or two, some we get three (we have three girls).

    Maybe the heat has something to do with molting ‘early’?
     
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  3. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

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    Welcome to BYC!
    Sorry to read about your poor Brown Leghorn. :hugs Did you get a necropsy to determine cause of death?
    I would say your girls are molting.
    I recommend that you switch them to an All Flock or Flock Raiser type of feed. Any complete feed with 18-20% protein will help them through the molt. Offer oyster shell on the side. You can keep them on this diet for the rest of their lives.
     
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  4. Dixiebelles

    Dixiebelles In the Brooder

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    Aug 20, 2019

    Thank you! I couldn't bear to do a necropsy on Pidge. I thought about boxing her up and sending her somewhere for one, but she was one of my favorites and I wanted to give her a proper burial. I could definitely do one myself on someone else's bird, but I get too sentimental with mine. After talking to the wildlife rehab I volunteer for's "chicken expert" I think it was likely a stroke or heart failure. She hadn't shown any signs at all that anything was wrong, she simply collapsed. I thought maybe it was heat exhaustion initially, and spent 6 hours giving her oral fluids every 30 minutes in my bathroom, but her pupils were unresponsive pretty much the entire time and her comb was dark, so I knew it wasn't looking good for her. She passed that evening.

    The feed I have them on is 16% protein, and I still have quite a bit left. Can I supplement until I run out, or should I just pitch it and get new feed?
     
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  5. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

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    You can supplement with a handful of meal worms or some other high protein food.
     
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