molting

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by HennyPenny49, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. HennyPenny49

    HennyPenny49 New Egg

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    Oct 18, 2008
    Orangevale, CA
    I'm fairly new at raising chickens. My three girls are a year old. They started molting and what a mess. I didn't realize they lost all their feathers! How long does this usually last? Should they have special food during this time? They aren't earing normally. They usually love bread, soybeans & millet but now they don't want any of that. Should I get them anything else?
     
  2. Firefly

    Firefly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2007
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    I'm going through my chicken's first molt as well. I've done a lot of searching and so far have come up with the following things to do:

    1. supplement with vitamins if you aren't already
    2. throw in a few handfuls of black oil sunflower seeds 1-2 times a day
    3. most importantly-- increase protein. Feathers are protein and losing them can cause a nutritional deficiency. I switched mine from 16% to 21% feed until they finish their molt. I've also been giving them a little bit of wet cat food.

    It is tough on a bird to go through a molt, so making sure they are getting everything they need nutritionally is very important. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2008
  3. Aitchs

    Aitchs New Egg

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    Oct 18, 2008
    This was great timing! My girls seem to be in a moult phase. I am going to get the black oil seed to them now. I don't have a cat but will get catfood & try that too. THANKS
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2008
  4. HennyPenny49

    HennyPenny49 New Egg

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    Oct 18, 2008
    Orangevale, CA
    Thank you for your help. I'll get them some of the black sunflower seeds tomorrow. And I do have a cat so I'll try that. Are your chickens laying eggs during this molt? Mine haven't laid any for about three weeks now.
     
  5. chickenma

    chickenma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 8, 2008
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    thanks for the info [​IMG]
     
  6. Firefly

    Firefly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2007
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    One of my girls has been slowly molting since August, and is averaging one egg every 2-3 days. The other hen is really going through a hard molt, poor thing, and has completely stopped. HTH!
     
  7. HennyPenny49

    HennyPenny49 New Egg

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    Oct 18, 2008
    Orangevale, CA
    I can't imagine them going through this again in the spring. I have 3/4 of an acre and there ae piles of feathers everywhere. Looks like one was killed.
     
  8. Chicken Boo

    Chicken Boo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 16, 2008
    Glenn Dale, MD
    My 3 australorps (5-6 yrs old) look diseased they are missing so many feather. And the temperature has just dropped here in MD. For my 2 new (1 yr old) production reds, one has molted and grown back in and the other has not started yet.

    My question is about my "chicks" hatched the first week of June. They have just really grown in their adult feathers and are just at laying age (although they have not started yet). Will they molt this year or wait until next year for their first molt?
     
  9. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Young cockerals and pullets have what is called a juvenile molt where they just lose a few feathers growing up, thats normal. Older hens and roosters usually molt hard around 12 to 18 months, some heavy and some light! I have a heavy molt going on right now with some hens and roosters and it's cold out this morning!! Brrrr.... 27 degrees!..So they better get on the stick growing in some new ones for Winter weather!!

    Just give them lots of protein to help with re-growth. Scrambled eggs or boiled eggs, wet or dry cat food, black oiled sunflower seeds thrown out to them and canned tuna once in awhile.
     
  10. Aitchs

    Aitchs New Egg

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    Oct 18, 2008
    In just a few days I have had such great information from BYC. Thank you all. It is reassuring to know that my girls are not going to be baldies forever!:|:|
    Out of 8 1-2 year olds I am getting 1, maybe 2 eggs/day for about the past 4 weeks. Do they start up laying again after the feathers come back?
     

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