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New to BYC, egg production and molting/feathering questions

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by stevecarolynb, Sep 5, 2015.

  1. stevecarolynb

    stevecarolynb New Egg

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    Hi! I have had a mixed flock for about a year and a half. We recently went from 18 birds to 48, as we took in a rescue flock. I went from 12-16 eggs per day to 2-4 eggs per day, and I have 42 hens. We have had the additional 30 for 5 weeks now, and it seems that everyone has adjusted to each other, but I am just not getting eggs. My birds are all between 18 months and 2 years old. Also, many of the hens are losing their feathers on their backs and are pretty bald in areas. Is this normal? I have not found any parasites, and they all seem to be eating well. I feel like they have plenty of room, and it will be almost doubled this weekend. Currently, their fenced yard with coop is 25x40 feet. Plus, they get to roam our three acres when we are home, so they get to free range a lot. I despurred my big roo before we took in the rescues, and that seemed to help my girls, as a lot have begun to grow new feathers. Any advice, or should I just keep doing what I'm doing? Thanks!
     
  2. Hi there!

    First of all, welcome to BYC!

    One question:
    Are they molting or just losing it on their backs from the rooster? If they are molting, hens generally don't lay during molting and will lose the majority of their feathers but will regrow them shortly after..

    If many are losing & regrowing, I think it's fine to just continue what you're doing.

    Also; what hen-roo ratio do you have?
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2015
  3. trailrider330

    trailrider330 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to the BYC flock! We are glad you joined us!
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    I was wondering the same thing. Any chance they are molting?
     
  4. Mutt Farm

    Mutt Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi! Welcome! [​IMG] I'd just keep doing what your doing, and also might bump up your protein content for a while. Turkey or Game Bird crumbles. If you switch, you'll need to be sure to have free choice oyster shell for calcium. I'd love to know more about your rescued flock! 1500 Leghorns were just rescued here in So Cal. Good luck!
     
  5. stevecarolynb

    stevecarolynb New Egg

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    Not sure if molting or from roo or combo of both. It just happened as soon as the newbies came. I'm not totally sure if I've experienced a hard molt with my chickens yet, as I've only had them 18 months
     
  6. stevecarolynb

    stevecarolynb New Egg

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    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  7. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Howdy stevecarolynb

    I do not have roosters so I am definitely lacking in experience in that department. However, I have experienced hard moults with my Bantam Langshan.

    The two hens you have provided pictures of may have rooster wear and tear as it is isolated to their back.

    Having said that, looking very closely at the second picture, is your hen missing head feathers also?

    Hard moults usually start on the neck and head region along with the chest and you can see the pin feathers. If experiencing a hard moult, they can also be a bit moody, sensitive and sulky, not liking to be touched etc because it is uncomfortable for them:

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  8. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life Water Under the Bridge Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!
     
  9. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    From seeing your pics, the reason your hens are missing feathers is because of the rooster. Molting chickens lose feathers all over their bodies, starting at their neck and ending around their tail. (Usually.) Hens with too much rooster attention, will only be missing feathers on their back areas, just like your's. Give them LOTS of protein. They need this to help re-grow their feathers since feathers take up 85% protein. You also might want to buy a couple hen savers. http://www.hensaver.com Watch for bullying behaviors in your birds since they see exposed skin and are hungry for protein. Here's a link on molting that has info on helping chickens re-grow feathers. https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/what-happens-when-chickens-molt

    Since it's molting season, your birds also might be starting to molt as well.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2015
  10. stevecarolynb

    stevecarolynb New Egg

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    After seeing Teila's pics, I think I have both molting chickens and roo favorites. I'm just glad to know everything is ok. I can easily up the protein. Thanks everyone!
     

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