Molting?

2ndTink

Songster
Aug 23, 2020
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I have an Australorp pullet who is not looking her usual self. She is losing feathers around her neck and has lost her luster. She's seemed a little pale the last week and between the three chickens that lay the same cream colored eggs I've only been getting 1 a day and sometimes none. She's eating and moving around the yard with the rest of the flock but seems cold and miserable. I saw her shake her head and 2 feathers floated away.

She hatched in April and started laying in September. They are on the Natrena naturewise pellets and free range about 5 hours a day.

The weather has been all over the last 2 months, 50s and 60s then 20s, yesterday was 50s and rain, today is 27 and windy.

Is she molting? I have 5 others her age who look normal.
 

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aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
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Nov 27, 2012
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Chickens molt and grow a new set of feathers 2-3 times before around 6 months of age, those are called the juvenile molts.
Some pullets will have a partial molt their first fall/winter.
Most birds will have their first full adult molt their second fall/winter.
 

West Bend

Songster
Jul 7, 2019
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501
191
West Bend WI
My three are going through their first full molt this winter. One right after the other- not at the same time! 1st the BSL then the RIR.The SLW is going through a molt right now and I've let them sleep in the nest box the last few nights as it's in the single digits. The BSL & RIR were cozy in the same next but the SLW stayed on the roost all night by herself- I almost moved her to the other nest but didn't. Currently they are on feather fixer & get mealworms, yogurt & then whole grains in the afternoon (evenings when I'm home at night). Fresh grapes & pomegranate seeds for hydration.
 

2ndTink

Songster
Aug 23, 2020
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I'll try and get her some higher protein goodies to help her out, it just seems a terrible time of the year to swap out some feathers!

Would it be a bad idea to put her in with the young pullets who are still on chick grower for a week or so? It would probably be too stressful for her to change coops and then integrate back into her current flock right?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
100,773
144,228
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I'll try and get her some higher protein goodies to help her out, it just seems a terrible time of the year to swap out some feathers!

Would it be a bad idea to put her in with the young pullets who are still on chick grower for a week or so? It would probably be too stressful for her to change coops and then integrate back into her current flock right?
I would not move her.
But it wouldn't hurt to give her some starter.
Many of us feed a 18-20% all flock type feed,
with oyster shell in a separate feeder for the active layers.
 

2ndTink

Songster
Aug 23, 2020
376
660
196
I would not move her.
But it wouldn't hurt to give her some starter.
Many of us feed a 18-20% all flock type feed,
with oyster shell in a separate feeder for the active layers.

Ok, thanks for confirming.

The feed store I use hasn't been carrying all flock, I'll ask if they can order some in though as that is what I would like to be using with our current fowl mix 😂 we have the 4 Littles who aren't on layer feed plus the guineas, having one feed would be a lot easier.
 

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