My bird is moulting for the first time...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lowry075, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. lowry075

    lowry075 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2011
    Southern California
    ...how long does it last? Is there anything special I need to do for her during this time? (She is acting differently also, so I posted this here). She isn't as friendly.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Duration of molt can vary from 2 to 4 months. Ensuring adequate protein, quality (polyunsaturated) fat and vitamins promotes quality feather development.

    She is trying protect her incoming (new) feathers. They are most delicate when still fed by blood (sometimes called blood feathers for that reason).

    To reduce risk of mechanical damage make certain roost does not overly crowd birds or cause tail to come into contact with wall.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011
  3. madamwlf

    madamwlf Nevermore Acres

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    I have a buff orp that is molting too. Yard looks like a massacre happened with all the buff feathers everywhere.
     
  4. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    We're new to this. Wondering if someone could post a few pictures of chickens in full molt? Can't imagine how pathetic it must look...
     
  5. lowry075

    lowry075 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Southern California
    She doesn't look much different yet, but the coop is a feathery mess.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Jeff,

    I will show some images of birds in various stages of molt. Full molt is not a discrete condition as normally birds always have a minimal feather complement to enable flight. Molting where flight not possible and / or skin becomes exposed is not normal and indicative of stressed bird.
     
  7. christina1982

    christina1982 Out Of The Brooder

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    Louisiana
    Quote:How do you know if they are molting?

    I have 6 chickens and there are feathers everywhere but no bald spots are anything. Is that just normal feather loss?
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    During the normal molting sequence. Almost immediately after a feather is shed, its replacement erupts from skin. Loss and subsequent replacement of flight feathers on wings and tail is done in symmetrical manner. See following link showing replacment pattern for primaries. If all going well left wing not shown will be mirror image of right wing shown.


    www.poultry.msstate.edu/img/molt.gif

    Molt pattern shown is of the rapid replacement pattern. My games are of the slow where feathers are dropped singly instead of threes as shown.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011
  9. TroutsChicks

    TroutsChicks Fluffy Stuffins

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    At what age will they start to molt? I am seeing more feathers then usual in the coop and run. How much feather loss is normal? They are healthy and get along with each other. [​IMG]
     
  10. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    So what you're saying is, I'm not going to walk out there one morning to a bunch of naked chickens [​IMG]
     

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