molting??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by warhorse, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. warhorse

    warhorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2008
    Cibolo, TX
    I have an older ameraucana/ EE hen who has appeared to be molting for what seems like a long time. It started in May, and I originally thought an aggressive rooster was guilty of pulling her feathers off. Even after I removed him, her feathers were still ratty, so I thought maybe it was a molt. It has been at least four months now, and she still looks ratty. She is probably 5 years old or so, but still lays 2 - 3 eggs a week, even while looking ratty. We even dusted everyone with sevin dust and DE in July when the dogs had a flea problem. None of the other hens kept with her are affected. Any ideas what this might be?
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2008
  2. warhorse

    warhorse Chillin' With My Peeps

    442
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    131
    Jun 15, 2008
    Cibolo, TX
    "....Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?"
     
  3. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Try giving her a calcium and protein boost. I usually give our ladies extra protein and calcium after being broody and during a molt.

    I mix yogurt, buttermilk, oats and the feed crumbes together and feed it to them. I add poultry drench or other similar vitamins to their water.
     
  4. warhorse

    warhorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2008
    Cibolo, TX
    Thank you so much! I have been giving cat food thinking it was a protein boost, I just didn't know a molt would last that long with her still laying sporadically and during the summer with noone else molting. I guess because she is older the molt can be weird like that? She is starting to feather back in, but it's been well over 5 months.

    Question about boosting the protein: The layer pellets I get come in either 16% or 20% as well as the 20% in grower. Is it best to keep laying hens on the layer pellets and just up the protein, or does grower have anything else in it that would be good for stressed birds?
     
  5. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    I don't feed layer - I feed Flock Raiser, which is 20% protein. This is because I have a mixed flock of birds from 11 weeks old to over 2 years old. I'm not sure the grower has anything special the laying hen needs - I guess it depends on what feed you are using.

    I don't like to do the cat food thing because some of it is awfully high in sodium, which isn't good for chickens. The other thing for us is that we don't feed animal protein to our birds, with the rare occasional exception of fish, so we stay away from feeding cat food.

    Like I said, I just mix yogurt, buttermilk, oats and the flock raiser crumbes together and feed it to them.
     
  6. mikarod

    mikarod Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 28, 2008
    Oklahoma
    It could also be that the other hens are picking her feathers.

    Is there a way to keep her completely separate so she has time to regrow her feathers in time for winter? Generally, once my birds have their feathers all back in, the others don't feel the need to pick the new growth out.
     
  7. warhorse

    warhorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2008
    Cibolo, TX
    She is actually the senior resident in amongst a few 6-9 month old pullets, and she is definately the alpha, so I don't think there is any pecking (of her) going on. I think I may change from the 16% layer to the 20% layer anyway. Thanks for the replies, I'll keep browsing the forums. [​IMG]
     
  8. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    warhorse, I have a 1.5-year old Ameraucana going through a hard molt, and I started mixing in 20% chick starter with her feed to get her some more protein. I am also giving some treats with lots of protein and fat to help with those gnarly, stubby feathers ~ flax seeds, sunflower seeds, a bit of Southern corn bread, etc.
     

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