Molting

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by tinapmann, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. tinapmann

    tinapmann Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2009
    I received my chicks last May 2009. They went through their first molt either during the late fall/winter. They have been laying wonderfully, however, they are still missing alot of feathers. Some are missing neck feathers, some on their be-hind and others on their back near their tail feathers. I do not have a rooster so that is not the problem. My concern is them going into another molt and already missing feathers. I have barred rocks, rhode island reds, golden comets and light brahmas. The barred rock and golden comets seem to be the only ones affected by this. Suggestions? Comments?
     
  2. biddyboo

    biddyboo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2008
    Ashland, Missouri
    Our hens are assorted mixes, ages, breeds, and the older ones are always in some stage of missing feathers. I'd feel like a genius if I could confidently say when one is molting or if some other issue is at work. Some are without feathers on their heads, from combs to an inch or so down toward their necks. Some are fine on the head, but they are missing feathers in the hackle area, as if they are Turken-wannabes. A few are always missing feathers on their backs or tops of wing (shoulders?), while a few parade with only a smidgen of tail feathers or with none, when they oughta be. They all seem happy and healthy, and a few even look like show hens, every feather groomed and in place. Now, go figure:) They managed well in their various defeathered states through last winter's cold, so I worry less and enjoy them more--unsightly though some are. By the way, I read once, I think on BYC, that a good sign of a good layer is a hen that looks a little worn, colorless, rough around the edges--production is going into eggs instead of "beauty." Has anyone else heard this? ~G
     
  3. acid_chipmunk

    acid_chipmunk Polish Silkies d'Uccles O my!

    Mar 29, 2010
    Sounds like you have a feather picker or two. Watch them closely and you should find out who is doing it. Your usual culprits will be the ones not missing any feathers.

    If you have a picker or pickers, you will need to either remove them or the ones being picked until they are healed, or they will just keep picking. They love the new feather shafts that are coming in all filled with blood.

    Also, if this is the case, make sure they have a high protein diet. They need high protein to grow feathers back and a picker usually means that they are lacking protein or they are bored and cramped.
     
  4. newchicksnducks

    newchicksnducks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mine are in a similar state...my Australorps have not had back feathers for 4 months! I'm ready to buy aprons for them just to keep them covered. I have not really seen too much picking by other birds, but they are always picking on their own backs...could they be their own worst enemy?
     
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Could be mini moults if it's not roosters or picking, but you need to visually inspect them for lice/mites as well. Picking would indicate crowded conditions or perhaps a lack of a particular vitamin(s) or mineral(s). Poultry nutri drench added to their water for 4 days would help alliviate feather picking and adding crushed oyster shell (calcium) will help. Some scrambled eggs will add extra protein will help as well.
     

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