Molting??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SGP, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. SGP

    SGP In the Brooder

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    One of my chickens has been missing feathers from her neck all summer. I assumed she was molting but still nothing has grown back. I noticed a few weeks ago that her bum is also bare!! My chickens are just over a year old and it would be the right time for a molt, but I’m just not sure if that’s what it is or if there is something else going on. She is otherwise acting normal. Can anyone with more experience give me a hand? Here are two pics: (the second is the best shot I can get of her bum, sorry!)
     

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    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
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  2. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    Your one-year olds may not molt this fall. However, if large areas of feathers have been plucked out, you could see regrowth in those areas.

    The way to tell if a chicken is regrowing feathers is to look for little pin feathers poking up uniformly in bare spots. Feathers that are simply broken won't regrow until the chicken actually molts.
     
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  3. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Free Ranging

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    Your photos didn't attach. Pics will help a lot in this case, because it could be molt, or parasites, bullying/feather picking, etc.

    If it's a molt you should see pinfeathers in the places that are bare, though they may not be present if there's also picking involved.
     
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  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Great Horny Toads

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    Could be molting, could be feather picking. If the neck feathers haven't grown back than I would suspect some feather picking from other birds. Generally when birds molt it starts at the head and goes back at a steady rate ending with wing and tail feathers. Feathers picked from the vent area too is generally feather picking.

    You may want to spend some time observing your flock to see if you see it happening. Sometimes it happens on the roosts. Upping the protein content of their feed, and limiting lower protein extras can help get them back on track. I like a ration with 18-20% for maintenance, especially if you feed extras.
     
  5. brindlelove

    brindlelove In the Brooder

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    Sep 10, 2019
    give her some mint that helps with molting
     
  6. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Free Ranging

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    Now that I see the photos, I'm guessing it's a picking issue, whether that is the sole cause or not, it's hard to tell.

    I agree with oldhenlikesdogs, if you have time, watch your flock interactions and you'll probably find your answer.
     
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  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    @brindlelove I have never heard of this.....how does mint help with molting?
     
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  8. SGP

    SGP In the Brooder

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    Thanks for the advice!! I don’t see anyone picking at her, but I’ll keep looking! I see no pin feathers on her neck or her tail and the skin on her bum is totally smooth without any sign of regrowth. Will that not regrow until she actually molts? I put some Blu-Kote on her rear end just to cover the pink skin and keep interest in pecking down. I feed them Scratch and Peck Organic Layer feed, which is 16% protein. Should I go back to the grower feed for more protein content? Also, if I do see pecking going on, what’s the next step? I’d hate to have to isolate her bc it looks like it will take a good long while for those feathers to grow back, and then she’ll probably be picked on when she gets reintroduced as well, right? Any further advice would be appreciated!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019 at 11:22 AM
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    No, probably not until a molt.

    Is the S&P the cracked grain type? Sometimes they pick out the good stuff, and miss the fines which is where all the vitamins and minerals are.
    Is the grower a crumble...what protein %?

    Yes, better not to separate, but provide more space and/or 'hiding places'.
     
  10. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Free Ranging

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    How do you feed the S&P, dry or fermented? Problem with feeding it dry is much of the protein is in the powder, which birds don't tend to eat, so you need to make it stick to the feed by fermenting or at least wetting it.
     
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