Multiple moulting

Carolynleaj

Hatching
Nov 3, 2018
5
1
9
Longmont, Colorado
I have 2 4yo hens. They have moulted 3 times this year and have completely stopped laying. They eat organic layer pellets along with oyster shells and have free run of the gardens. I purposely have kale and collards growing for them- they love it. Just wondering why they are moulting so much and stopped laying for months. Anyone??
 

Pork Pie

Flockwit
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jan 30, 2015
56,094
218,182
1,687
Hi and welcome to BYC. I'm sure that you will have some answers soon.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
94,926
125,430
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Welcome to BYC!

3 full molts in one year?
Please explain in more detail....timing, duration, laying???

Also...
Where in this world are you located?
Climate is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, then it's always there!
upload_2018-11-3_8-12-13.png
 

Carolynleaj

Hatching
Nov 3, 2018
5
1
9
Longmont, Colorado
3 moults, started in February to April, then right away June and July, and then pretty much August to October. We had maybe a dozen eggs laid this entire year so far. And they are not good quality eggs either. I'm in the foothills of Colorado. Haven't had any extreme weather really. They do have a heater in the winter time. I've had chickens before and have never had this happen at all.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
94,926
125,430
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
3 moults, started in February to April, then right away June and July, and then pretty much August to October. We had maybe a dozen eggs laid this entire year so far. And they are not good quality eggs either.
That's really weird, never heard of that before.

Have you checked them over real well for mites and/or lice?

Google images of lice/mites and their eggs before the inspection so you'll know what you're looking for.

Part the feathers right down to the skin around vent, head/neck and under wings.

Best done well after dark with a strong flashlight/headlight, easier to 'catch' bird and also to check for the mites that live in structure and only come out at night to feed off roosting birds.

Wipe a white paper towel along the underside of roost to look for red smears(smashed well fed mites).
 

Carolynleaj

Hatching
Nov 3, 2018
5
1
9
Longmont, Colorado
That's really weird, never heard of that before.

Have you checked them over real well for mites and/or lice?

Google images of lice/mites and their eggs before the inspection so you'll know what you're looking for.

Part the feathers right down to the skin around vent, head/neck and under wings.

Best done well after dark with a strong flashlight/headlight, easier to 'catch' bird and also to check for the mites that live in structure and only come out at night to feed off roosting birds.

Wipe a white paper towel along the underside of roost to look for red smears(smashed well fed mites).
That's really weird, never heard of that before.

Have you checked them over real well for mites and/or lice?

Google images of lice/mites and their eggs before the inspection so you'll know what you're looking for.

Part the feathers right down to the skin around vent, head/neck and under wings.

Best done well after dark with a strong flashlight/headlight, easier to 'catch' bird and also to check for the mites that live in structure and only come out at night to feed off roosting birds.

Wipe a white paper towel along the underside of roost to look for red smears(smashed well fed mites).
I've checked for lice before. I'll check again though. It's just the strangest thing. I'd think they were just getting old but they're only 4. Been driving me nuts trying to figure this out.
 

GC-Raptor

Free Ranging
Jul 26, 2016
4,995
9,121
601
Connecticut, USA
It sounds like they aren't getting enough nutrition, because of stale feed to many treats or mites, lice.
Two hens. What size bag of feed do you buy? Where do you store it? If you feed dry, do you use a feeder? 20181021_092420.jpg , similar to this. Feed can get moist from hens drinking and eating and get caked in the the bottom and get stale or moldy.

I have had feed stored in my house go bad when kept in original bag tightly closed 5 months from mill date, about 3 months after I purchased it. It got a strong smell and the hens consumed much less and egg production dropped to less than half. That's when I started to search for the reason and found the stale feed.
I washed the feeder and purchased a smaller bag that gets used within 8 weeks.
I now let the feeder get nearly empty at least monthly, and thoroughly clean. More often in damp or humid conditions.
Keeping feed outside in damp, humid, or hot conditions can make feed go bad even more quickly.
I've read on here, that some put fresh feed in smaller bags, freeze and remove as needed. I never have.
I have 10 chickens now, up from 3 and can buy 50# bags of feed. I still store the feed in my house in a spare room near the back door and take out as needed in a covered container to fill the feeders. GC
 

RWise

Songster
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
1,270
1,006
216
Oakhurst Oklahoma
What about predators? I had a girl molt early because a dog got in and chased her, but never seen multiple molts in a year.
Good luck.
 

Carolynleaj

Hatching
Nov 3, 2018
5
1
9
Longmont, Colorado
I have checked for mice again. Not coming up with anything.
I hadn't thought about food. I have the exact same feeders. Not sure what size bag we buy, but we keep it stored in a steel trash can with a lid. But it does stay in there for a couple months, as we used to have more chickens and are only down to two now. I will clean their food and water out and remove a good half of the food and put it in the freezer then and see if that helps anything. Thanks everyone so much for giving suggestions. I really do appreciate it❤
 

MANNA-PRO

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom