More than Moulting?

luanahenry

Hatching
9 Years
Mar 15, 2010
7
0
7
Wrightwood


We have three, 22 month old, Rhode Island Reds. Their hen house is 27 sq FT. We have a fenced yard so even though we live in the mountains (6,000 FT), We let them out regularly roam the yard. They never venture past a certain point in the yard and often put themselves back in the coop at night. The problem is they have stopped laying eggs and are loosing ALL their feathers. The last couple of eggs were very light (not the normal brown). We even had a few globs. So we added Oyster Shell to their feed mix of lay mash and scratch. We also give vegges and greens to them from the kitchen. The hen pictured is the most affected but ALL are loosing their feathers. I've also noticed that their top notch is not quite as bright red. I thought they might me moulting and maturing but I think this might be a bit much. Because we live in the Mountains and have allot of shade. We have a light that automatically comes on at dusk to give them 15 hours of sunlight per day. We also have a reptile heating element in the roosting area so the temp never drops below 30 degrees. The water dish also has a heater to keep the water from freezing. My husband felt sorry for them when it snows so he puts up plexi glass panels to help cut down on snow drift in their pen. They seem to be eating and drinking normal but the poo of one of them, not sure who is very runny ANY SUGGESTIONS?
 

perchie.girl

RIP 1953-2021
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 29, 2010
28,492
64,565
1,392
San Diego county High Desert
I am sure others will post more than me..... but
welcome-byc.gif
from San Diego.... It sounds like molting to me. When they molt they stop laying. If the poo is runny all the time that is something to be concerned about. but if the poo is runny Occasionally that is normal. Chickens do two types of poo, regular that is firm-ish, and runny stinky nasty. The runny kind is called a Cecal poo. A Cecal poo happens a couple of times a day I believe

Part of the chickens digestive system has a pocket called the Cecum...(sp?) not sure. But this is where bacteria live to help digest the plant material they eat. Periodically this gets sent out in a goey poo. It gets replenished as the day goes on. some people feed a little yougurt periodically if they feel their chickens need it.

For what its worth chickens don't urinate the uric acid is expelled dry and is the white patch on the regular poo.

I know I know more than you want to know about Poo.

deb



We have three, 22 month old, Rhode Island Reds. Their hen house is 27 sq FT. We have a fenced yard so even though we live in the mountains (6,000 FT), We let them out regularly roam the yard. They never venture past a certain point in the yard and often put themselves back in the coop at night. The problem is they have stopped laying eggs and are loosing ALL their feathers. The last couple of eggs were very light (not the normal brown). We even had a few globs. So we added Oyster Shell to their feed mix of lay mash and scratch. We also give vegges and greens to them from the kitchen. The hen pictured is the most affected but ALL are loosing their feathers. I've also noticed that their top notch is not quite as bright red. I thought they might me moulting and maturing but I think this might be a bit much. Because we live in the Mountains and have allot of shade. We have a light that automatically comes on at dusk to give them 15 hours of sunlight per day. We also have a reptile heating element in the roosting area so the temp never drops below 30 degrees. The water dish also has a heater to keep the water from freezing. My husband felt sorry for them when it snows so he puts up plexi glass panels to help cut down on snow drift in their pen. They seem to be eating and drinking normal but the poo of one of them, not sure who is very runny ANY SUGGESTIONS?
 

theoldchick

The Chicken Whisperer
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 11, 2010
32,125
19,071
867
Chickens who are experiencing a full molt can change dramatically almost overnight.

 

perchie.girl

RIP 1953-2021
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 29, 2010
28,492
64,565
1,392
San Diego county High Desert

Yay Chicks!

Songster
9 Years
Apr 15, 2010
3,784
73
213
Forest Grove, OR
Feeding some extra protein may help them through a hard molt. Growing feathers takes protein.

If you have some doubt about whether or not it is a molt, check them over carefully for bugs. With a molt, you should see new feathers filling in the bare patches. They will look like porcupines for a while.
 

MANNA-PRO

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