Molting?

2ndTink

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
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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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.
 
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.
 
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'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.
 
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.
 
Louise is back to normal, her tail feathers still look rough but her head and neck are re-feathered and she's back to laying.
 

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