Moulting hens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Gypsi, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. Gypsi

    Gypsi Songster

    I'm not seeing serious feather loss, but my hens are getting a little patchy on the top of their heads. It is very very hot here, it was 100 today, still getting an average of 3 or 4 eggs a day from 6 hens who will be 2 years old next January/February. What does normal moulting look like? They are eating well, drinking well, love their summer treats (tomatoes in season, watermelon, swiss chard, yummmyyy) and on Layena. Run around the yard in the afternoon, sometimes a little while in the morning (although if I let them out in the morning I will see fewer eggs that day, they don't eat as much and don't lay as much either.)

    Just figured I'd ask,


  2. sawmane1

    sawmane1 Songster

    Feb 22, 2011
    Mcminnville, Oregon
    sounds like moult... when there laying slows down give them extra protien in there diet (cracked corn)
  3. jtl977

    jtl977 In the Brooder

    Jul 6, 2010
    Sounds very similar to what our girls did when molting.
  4. Gypsi

    Gypsi Songster

    Well, I haven't been offering scratch so as not to "heat them up" when it is 100 degrees outdoors, their treats have been mainly fruits and veggies. I do think I should offer some extra protein or something. Got 3 eggs today, 2 normal size, one around cockatiel size. They had plenty of fresh water and regular feed, Layena. (actually I think it is a new layena??). I haven't seen a cockatiel sized egg since the great freeze last winter when their water kept freezing over.

    Thank you.
  5. poseygrace

    poseygrace Songster

    Apr 29, 2011
    I've heard you can feed them cat food to boost their protein while molting, but don't know for sure if it's a good thing to do. Mine are molting and I've been thinking about it. Would love some other opinions?

  6. Gypsi

    Gypsi Songster

    I fed them black sunflower seeds and raw peanuts I buy for the wildbirds, plus extra rations of layena. Got 5 normal sized eggs a day for a couple of days. But I figure the heat is a lot of the drop off. It was 106 yesterday, got 2 eggs.
  7. Dutchgirl

    Dutchgirl Not Dutch!

    Apr 1, 2008
    We don't do anything special when ours moult. [​IMG]
    It's partly b/c we have so many that they usually moult all at different times, so...
  8. BigDaddy'sGurl

    BigDaddy'sGurl Songster

    Jul 14, 2010
    Wilkesboro NC
    If they are only losing feathers on the back of their heads, it sounds like the rooster is simply being overly-amorous, to me...he grabs the back of the head feathers to "hold onto"...

    Also, cracked corn isn't a great protein additive, in my has fairly low amounts of protein, and if they fill up on corn, they don't eat the higher-protein laying feed. Kind of defeats the purpose. You can try dry cat food or black oil sunflower seeds...yogurt is also great.
  9. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Crowing

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Quote:corn is not a good source of protien. Especially in fortworth, TX. corn is a "heat" generator. I'm currently in Houston and it is way to hot.

    You might just want to wait it out.


  10. Gypsi

    Gypsi Songster

    I'm giving a little peanuts, a little black oil sunflower seeds, plenty of water and layena. No rooster, but the pecking order among the hens may be causing head feather loss. I'm not seeing a lot of feathers. Not seeing a lot of eggs, but I got 3 today. most days [​IMG]I eat 3 eggs a day, give away the surplus when I get too many. Thank you! [​IMG]

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