Moulting Question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rebbetzin, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. rebbetzin

    rebbetzin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2008
    Tucson AZ
    Ok, for about three weeks now, Ophelia, one of my Buff Orpington hens has been moulting. She looks quite horrible, patches of feathers missing and over all just a lack of good feathering. Now yesterday I noticed her comb and wattles are very pale. Is this normal? I have three other hens and none of the others are showing any signs of moulting. Do chickens moult every year?
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Sometimes they don't molt very heavily. I've never had one of mine look very scraggly. and yes they molt every year sometimes more than once.
    Sorry I can't answer the question about the pale comb.

  3. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    First, I'll give you a link to a couple of sites about molting. I think they will help you. And, as you can see, it is normally a good thing when a hen looks really rough during a molt. It normally means she is a fast molter which means she is a better layer.

    Mississippi State describes molting

    Kansas State feather loss

    As far as the pale comb, when a hen is ready to lay, the comb gets bright red. When she is not ready to lay, the comb gets paler. During the molt, a hen is normally not laying so the comb can get pale. Always keep on the lookout for signs of disease or parasites, but I would not worry too much about it a pale comb during a molt. It should get bright red again when she is ready to lay.

    Good luck!!
  5. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    ...and when you are checking Ophelia it wouldn't hurt to give her some cooked egg, yogurt or other protein to help her in her moult...
  6. GrannySue

    GrannySue Chillin' With My Peeps

    One of my Australorps decided to start her moult last night.
    While she was sleeping.
    The floor of the henhouse looks like a slaughter took place and only the feathers were left!

    She doesn't look as bald as the feathers might imply, until you see her beside her hatchmate sister.
  7. rebbetzin

    rebbetzin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2008
    Tucson AZ
    Quote:Yes, that is exactly what happened to me... Looked like a chicken had been plucked in the coop and run. But, she didn't look all that horrible unless you saw her next to her, "unmoulting" sister.
  8. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    Ridgerunner, thanks for the links. Good information there. My lazybone spoiled princesses haven't laid now for months even tho their molt has been over for quite a while. Sigh.

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