Newbie here... Is it molting??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 6chickshell, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. 6chickshell

    6chickshell New Egg

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    Nov 6, 2010
    My hens look like someone rubbed some sticky substance on their backs and their downy feathers are showing. Is this molt? I'm in Mass and we are cold now!!! I'd hate to put in a heat lamp but, should I? Will they survive the cold temps? This coming week will be 30's and 40's at night. Not too bad. How long dies this process take and how long til new feathers?

    Also, they just started laying, will this affect their laying? They are 6 months old. I have 2 buff orps and 3 EE's. All hens.

    Any advice greatly appreciated! I love my ladies:)
     
  2. kidd42

    kidd42 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Someone will post something, if you have to keep reposting to keep the thread alive. If they are molting they will stop laying. Not sure about the temps, as mine all went through the molt about two months ago before the cold weather. Good luck, someone will respond with help. Kevin
     
  3. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I'll give it a shot

    6chickshell,

    I'm not exactly sure what you mean by rubbed sticky stuff If there is in fact some foreign substance on them you need to remove it, by washing your chickens. But I think you mean the feathers are messed up. Assuming that:
    A picture would be worth a 1000 words.
    Do you have a roo, perhaps he is messing up the feathers? Or are they picking on one another?
    If they just started laying it is not a full molt, but could be a mini molt. Usually the first Full molt is the second fall. But there is a lot a room for variation in chickens.
    When they molt it does slow down or stop egg laying. This time of year it can also be due to the shorter days. A full molt can take 1-2 months or a little more. You can give them more protein in their diet to help with the refeathering process.

    Supplying heat is your choice. It depends on your breeds.Please let us know which breeds you have. Most cold hardy chickens are OK in the cold (even down to sub zero temps) as long as they have a DRY, DRAFT FREE coop. If you decide to give them some extra heat be careful with it. You would not want a fire.

    FYI- I spoil mine with extra heat.

    Good luck & I hope I answered your questions

    Imp
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2010
  4. bryleighs_gmal

    bryleighs_gmal Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 28, 2010
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    when a hen is molting which they will at this time of season if you let the roo keep breeding her it can an will cause a infection on her back which i hate to say will drain out get a bucket of warm soapy water place the hen all the way down in it to her neck let her sit for a few minutes afterward spray iodine on her after it dries place ointment keep doing that every 4 days..an keep her away from the other's.
     
  5. 6chickshell

    6chickshell New Egg

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    Nov 6, 2010
    Please correct me if I'm wrong.... I saw my one EE that DOESNT have the funky back feathers, pulling at the others feathers. So, I'm thinking protein deficiency as she's a new powerhouse layer?? I went out and gave them all some cheese and veggie burger meat. They devoured it!

    I was away for 2 days and I think they went on an eating strike? I feed them organic, top shelf feed. I also give them great treats which include flax, kale, bananas, sunflower seeds...

    Did they miss me? Stressed out with cold, me away, my neighbors checking on them, being néw layers?

    Thx for replies:)
     

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