(Non-Emergency) - rooster struggling through molt

arrowti

Songster
6 Years
Jul 20, 2014
548
656
196
Maine
Hello all. I figure it's time to ask. I'm not considering this an emergency because he's eating and drinking and scratching and crowing and doing rooster things. but...

This rooster is 4 years old (plus some months). He started molting very hard back at the end of July. Feathers were everywhere. He lost his tail. He lost his beard and muff. He lost his leg feathers and half of his wings and most of his saddle and hackle feathers. He was near bald minus a few spots. That process took several weeks. The time from when he began to molt to when he stopped looking worse was about 4 weeks. I was a little bit worried by the severity of his molt but since he had never really had a regular molt before I figured he was just compensating.

Unfortunately it has been two MONTHS of slow feather regrowth. He still doesn't have a tail and most of his leg feathers have not grown in. He also has some bare patches under his wings. As a result, with this cold, windy weather, he is having a hard time. He stays in the coop when it's windy and when he's outside he's huddled up shivering. He pretty much eats constantly, shoveling food in as much as he can. He will try to eat anything and everything and isn't keen on sharing the feeder anymore. He's pooping normally and drinking and even mating. But he's definitely having a hard time with the cold weather and I'm worried about him dealing with the even colder weather we're getting, plus the foot or so of snow we might be getting this weekend (if you live around here and didn't know about that... well... SURPRISE).

By comparison, the other 4 year old rooster also had a hard molt this year but it only took 8 weeks from start to looking normal again (but he's a bantam so maybe it's not a real comparison...)

Is there anything I can do to help him out? I'm worried about how long he's been molting... is it an indicator of an issue that he's been molting this long and mostly getting nowhere?
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
37,477
52,942
1,332
Southern N.C. Mountains
4 years old (plus some months). He started molting very hard back at the end of July. Feathers were everywhere. He lost his tail. He lost his beard and muff. He lost his leg feathers and half of his wings and most of his saddle and hackle feathers. He was near bald minus a few spots. That process took several weeks. The time from when he began to molt to when he stopped looking worse was about 4 weeks.

it has been two MONTHS of slow feather regrowth. He still doesn't have a tail and most of his leg feathers have not grown in. He also has some bare patches under his wings.

As a result, with this cold, windy weather, he is having a hard time. He stays in the coop when it's windy and when he's outside he's huddled up shivering. He pretty much eats constantly, shoveling food in as much as he can. He will try to eat anything and everything and isn't keen on sharing the feeder anymore. He's pooping normally and drinking and even mating.
Can you post some photos of him and his poop?
What are you feeding him?

If possible, can you get a fecal float to check for worms?
I would also look him over really well for lice/mites.

Some birds are very slow to feather back in, do you see new emerging growth?

I would add some extra straw or bedding inside the coop for him to snuggle down in. If you have to, bring food/water to him, so he doesn't have to go out in the wind. Extra protein - egg, tuna or meat once a day or provide him with chick starter. I would also direct dose him with poultry vitamins for a couple of days to give him a boost.
 

arrowti

Songster
6 Years
Jul 20, 2014
548
656
196
Maine
I'll have to try to get a picture of poo tomorrow. I had seen him poop earlier today and it looked like a regular chicken turd but when I went back out it was mixed into the ground with everything else in the rain. I got a picture of him but it's not great, mainly because he was already in the coop (before everyone else) sitting on the perch and it's dark in there. No light. The electrical cord to allow light into the coop was accidentally... run over... by a lawn mower this spring. :oops:

He has one feather grown back from his tail, which you can see. I have an older picture for comparison of what it should look like.

Current (excuse the white stains on the wall).
20181024_172504.jpg

And normal:
20180624_154359 (1).jpg


He has a nice long tail usually. Now it's just a stub, although it's 'slowly' growing back. I'll try to feed him some eggs, but he is 'not' people friendly in the sense that I can approach him without him running away, so it may be hard to get him alone for feeding times.
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
37,477
52,942
1,332
Southern N.C. Mountains
I would get some vitamins, his normal feed and extra protein into him.
I've had some molting in the dead of winter, they do sometimes need extra protection from wind.
Take your goodies out in a brightly colored bowl, he will start to recognize that you have something good for him pretty quick and start coming to you.
 

ChickenLeg

Crowing
9 Years
Feb 15, 2012
1,399
1,596
297
Throw that guy some cracked corn to help warm him up. & like above poster said check real well for mites, but if it was mites youd see it on the other chickens too. Probably just an intense molt.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom