1. chickensista

    chickensista Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 23, 2008
    CT
    Hi everyone,
    I think one of my barred rocks is molting. She is only 10months old. I may see signs in one or 2 others. When do chickens first start molting? I'm wondering if this is too early and brought on by stress? My BO was doing some major feather picking - I've started offering more Ca++ and protein. They have plenty of space, but there coop is not ideal for winters. (i'm planning a new coop for this year).
    So, could diet and cold cause an early molt? Do you see molting with certain diseases? I do plan on bringing a fecal in just to check things out. The barred rock seems a bit skinny. She may be using all her energy up staying warm with the feather loss?
    Thank you,
    Terry
     
  2. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Have you checked for mites and lice?... a regular molt is the shedding of feathers to get the new in for winter weather, it's usually starts in Aug and can take as long as Nov.....stress ...diet...feather pecking by the others...roosters mating can all take a toll on the hens......
     
  3. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    I have a BO who has been molting ALL WINTER LONG. Her molt was sort of suspended for a couple months..... just ratty looking and NO EGGS..... and now she's seriously molting. All her feathers are falling out and she has lush new ones coming in underneath. Look under your girl's feathers: are there new pin feathers coming in?

    Let us know.
     
  4. chickensista

    chickensista Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 23, 2008
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    Quote:Hi Tuffoldhen,
    I checked for mites, and I don't see anything. Are the mites themselves going to be visible or am I looking for droppings? Since I've never kept chickens or any other bird for that matter, I'm sure they've endured some stress due to my learning curve. I started keeping chickens last spring. The spring - fall were so easy! I wasn't as prepared for winter as I thought.
    I have 7 standard hens and 1 bantam roo, so I think they are OK in that regard. I see him mostly mounting the black stars and buff orp anyways.
    Thank you for the help!
    have a BO who has been molting ALL WINTER LONG. Her molt was sort of suspended for a couple months..... just ratty looking and NO EGGS..... and now she's seriously molting. All her feathers are falling out and she has lush new ones coming in underneath. Look under your girl's feathers: are there new pin feathers coming in?

    Hi SeaChick,
    I'm not sure what's new or not. I think they are new pin feathers coming in...At this point I guess Im more that she seems so skinny. I'm watching her closely and I'll try and post a pic.
    Thank you!
    Terry​
     
  5. chickensista

    chickensista Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Another question:

    Does the molting bother them at all? ie, is it irritating. The barred rock seems to be shaking her head a lot - like she is itchy or something.

    Terry
     
  6. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    The way to tell if it's mites or lice is wait til after dark when they are roosting and go in with a flashlight looking under their feathers...especially around the vent area and where they are losing the most feathers...sometimes the mites and lice will crawl on your hand ..they are not in their droppings.... I know it sounds gross but they don't stay on humans ...look around the barred rocks face and ears for bugs...

    yes molting is irritating for chickens...all those pin feathers trying to grow back in....
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2008
  7. chickensista

    chickensista Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Hi Tuffoldhen,
    I did look under her feathers and near the vent. Didnt' see any crawlies. I didn't mean look at the chicken poo - I meant would the mite poo be visible on the feathers or skin. I know the mites are small, but if it builds up...
    I think she's molting. I've been reading more of the past posts and it seems not uncommon for them to molt now. Not normal, but not uncommon I guess.
    At least we are getting some warmer weather this week.
    Thank you again!
    Terry
     
  8. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Good that it's not the mites and lice....Up their protein to help with feather growth....scrambled eggs...canned cat food or dry....even canned tuna....sometimes I throw goldfish pond pellets even into their runs...
     

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