No eggs for 2 weeks, now feathers EVERYWHERE

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Meanjeans, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. Meanjeans

    Meanjeans New Egg

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    Dec 1, 2013
    About 2 weeks ago, my 5 chickens suddenly stopped laying. We went from 4-5 eggs a day, to 1 a week! This evening, we got home and found feathers everywhere- all over the coop, the run, and even blowing into the yard. We checked on them, and they are all present and accounted for and all seem to be in good health. They are energetic in the morning, look normal and healthy, all are eating and drinking well. They may have run a little low on water for about half a day when all this started, and I don't know if that's the cause for all of this or not. We usually fill water and feed on the weekends, but I had checked to make sure there was water on Thursday and there was- by Saturday it was gone, so I don't think they were bone dry for very long. I'm worried about them, and really hoping that they aren't sick or still feeling the effect of our mistake with their water after 2 weeks. Any ideas or suggestions would be welcome!
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. It sounds like they are molting. You can start a molt by depriving them of water, also. When chickens molt, they stop laying eggs. It is normal for chickens to slow egg laying in the winter when they get less than 12 hours of light daily. You can put a light on a timer for a couple of extra hours early in the morning to help them lay, but molting can take 1-2 months. How old are they?
     
  3. Meanjeans

    Meanjeans New Egg

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    Dec 1, 2013
    Thanks so much for your response! Our chicks are around 9 months old, we think. When we got them mid-April, we were told they were about 6 weeks old. When you say the molt can last a month or two, is that from the start of the lack of water/eggs, or from the time the feathers start shedding? Again, thanks for your help! We love our chicks, and want to be good owners who do the right thing for them- including checking their water more often. :)
     

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