Moulting

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Macy, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. Macy

    Macy Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 27, 2008
    Alabama
    How old is a chicken when it moults? I have 10 red sex link hens that are approximately 9 or 10 months old and have stopped laying. I have been told that it could be due to moulting. Well, it is my understanding that when any type of bird moults it loses feathers so I don't believe that moulting is the problem.

    Tropical storm Fay move through my area twice in two days. It wasn't tremendously bad but the weather was a bit rough. Could the weather be the reason they have stopped laying? The only problem that I have with that is the fact that they have not laid in over 2 weeks now.

    Help!
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2008
  2. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    If they are molting, you will see the new feather quills coming out and feathers around the ground. So if not molting, may be a health issue. Stress could stop them from laying. I would try a vitamin/electrolyte solution in the waterers.

    Besides "no eggs" what are you observing?
    Behavior normal?
    Droppings normal?
    Eating and drinking okay?


    No eggs is not enough information....for a health diagnosis
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2008
  3. Macy

    Macy Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 27, 2008
    Alabama
    Whoo. Finally found my way back. I am so new at this I got lost.

    As of yet I still have no eggs. There are some feathers lying on the ground but not any more than usual. They are behaving normally and I have not observed anything that would point to any medical issues. Droppings are normal and they are eating and drinking like usual.

    I added three white rocks a couple of weeks ago. Could that be part of the problem? The days have shortened and they aren't getting 14 hours of sunlight anymore. Should I add a light?

    Thanks for the suggestion of vitamins/electrolites in their water. It's worth a try. I have become very discouraged by this situation and am grateful for any assistance I can get.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2008
  4. chickabator

    chickabator Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 30, 2007
    ky
    I don't know but mine are doing the same thing. we have not had eggs from my white rocks or barred rocks in over 3 weeks. They are still on the same feed and they are not sick. poo is normal, behavior is the same and they still eat the same. My delawares have slowed down to maybe an egg a week. they just stared laying about a month ago, the white rocks have been laying for about 2 months and then they stopped. my barred rocks just turned a year old they did not start laying til they were almost 7 months old. and they quit too. my rir's have even slowed down and my 2 leghorns . I have 2 ameraucana's that are almost 9 months old and have never laid an egg yet
     
  5. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    South Central KY
    I'm betting they're beginning to moult. Wait a while. Increase the protein. Some breeds don't show the moult as obviously as others. In another week or two it will probably look like they've been having pillow fights when you weren't looking.

    Mine are moulting, egg production is down, some hens look normal, some sort of raggedy, some nearly naked, some are looking like porcupines with new quill growth.
     
  6. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    Do your chickens free range? Could they possibly be laying them outside somewhere, hiding them?

    I had one hen that laid her eggs in the pine shavings inside the coop and then buried them!
     
  7. Macy

    Macy Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 27, 2008
    Alabama
    I still haven't seen a heavy amount of feathers yet but I can't say that they aren't moulting yet. I believe that if they have not, they will soon.

    I checked with my local feed store for vitamins/electrolites but the owner doesn't carry any. I will look for some online today.

    Although I live in a rural area, it is unsafe for me to allow them to free range at this time. There is no leash law in the county outside the nearest city limits and dogs roam freely. As a matter of fact, the first chicks I ever bought were killed by a stray pitbull. He killed every last one. Needless to say, I was completely devastated.[​IMG]

    I am in the process of acquiring materials to enlarge their area while keeping the different breeds seperate. Not an easy task but they could use the extra room to move around more.

    But by adding extra protein, do you mean feed them extra layer? Or is there another way to give them extra protein? I'm still a little new at this and learning as I go along. Any advice is greatly appreciated.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  8. lovemychix

    lovemychix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Moulton Iowa
    Mine are moulting too....and they are about a year and half old.
     
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    Quote:It could be an issue of adding the new birds and light. How old were the White Rocks when you added them. Did you quarentine the White Rocks before you introduced them into your flock? I would also add some light. Originally I put mine on a timer to come on about 5 am and off at 8 am. My timer died so I know leave a red sign light bulb on 24/7.
     
  10. Macy

    Macy Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 27, 2008
    Alabama
    I still plan to add light this week. I got laid-off in April and my unemployment check stretches only so far. On the up side though, I will be going back to work about mid November.[​IMG] And then I won't be hurting so much in the pocketbook.

    As for the new additions, I was away from home at the time of their arrival. My husband was there when our neighbor arrived with them. I had told my husband that I did not want to add any more chickens at this time because I needed time to adjust to amount I already had.[​IMG]

    When I arrived home later that day my husband told about the rocks. I then asked him where he had put them. That's when I found out they were already in the coop. I was furious.[​IMG] I don't think he will do that again.

    No matter what though, I am not giving up. I will make this work because I love my chickens and I want what is best for them always.[​IMG]

    Sorry. I didn't mean for this to be so lengthy. Thanks for the advice.
     

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