1. findrelics

    findrelics New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    May 9, 2014
    Hi, I have been a member for a year now and I think the forum is an excellent place to get info on raising Chickens. I live in Ontario, Canada. My hubby and I have 10 acres with a pond and creek running the length of our land. In the summer the chickens and ducks free range every day. The weather has been very cold here (-30 to -36 C) so I have switched to Golden Harvest because it has a higher protein and adding scratch to their diet also.I talked with my feeds owner and this is what he suggested for the cold weather. My chickens seem to be moulting. There are a couple of hens with the feathers off their butts. Today when I got home from work there was a hen dead in the coop with most of her feathers gone off her back and butt area. The chickens are 10 months old and I have read that they usually have their first moult when they are around 18 months. Can someone give me some help. Thanks Cathy
     
  2. Eggmachine11

    Eggmachine11 Chillin' With My Peeps

    169
    2
    63
    Feb 8, 2015
    MO
    It does not matter what age they are.They don't HAVE to molt.The hen could have possibly been too cold.

    As for your feed I wouldn't add scratch to the diet as a breakfeast nor a dinner,it's a treat.

    The definition of "Scratch" is bird feed for chickens to dig up for say it's in the grass and dirt.Also,adding oyster shell will help a lot,and any other forsay,rice etc,but remember,too much starch is bad for chickens.

    Adding a heat lamp to your coop will help keep them warm,also adding extra birds will add more body heat.
     
  3. findrelics

    findrelics New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    May 9, 2014
    Thanks for the info. I do give them oyster shells and also grit. I live off grid so I really have to watch the amount of power I use. I do have 26 chickens and 7 ducks in the coop.
     
  4. Eggmachine11

    Eggmachine11 Chillin' With My Peeps

    169
    2
    63
    Feb 8, 2015
    MO
    Oh,you don't need extra birds.26 is enough,but I'm guessing off grid,you live in Alaska?
     
  5. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

    4,536
    1,563
    311
    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    Can you post pics of where they are missing feathers? It sounds like mites or lice to me. I have even seen mice chewing on my hens feathers while they sleep.
    Scratch added to the diet in the winter is fine so long as it is not the primary food.
    They do go through a mini molt at about 8 months of age. This is usually not one that causes bare birds.
    Your birds should be fully feathered this time of year. I do think you may have a mite or lice infestation. These can be carried in on wild birds.
    How big is your coop? Are they staying in since it is so cold? Are they picking at each other?
    Are the feathers gone or are they broken off?
     
  6. barredrckgirl

    barredrckgirl New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Feb 13, 2015
    I had almost the same exact thing occur.. my drake was pulling out the feathers of my hens and injured the ones vent pretty severely. I had to separate the chickens from the ducks.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by