POL Pullet molting??...

Henpeckedpirate

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jun 28, 2014
35
3
26
Hey guys, new here so apologies if this should be in another section, but I'm not treating it as an emergency yet.

Two weeks ago I picked up 3 POL girls from the local auction. A mix of breeds, one of which was a Welsummer. She had a lot of tail feathers missing, which was put down to bullying etc, but other than that she was bright and alert, well feathered and a lovely looking girl.

I've felt her pin bones, and she's not near lay yet, but she seems to be loosing a fair few feathers?? Mostly at night but today I noticed a nice hollow where she's been dust-bathing, and again a fair few feathers there... mostly downy type with the odd half broken full feather. Also watched her eat some.

All on ACV at the moment which seems to have given her a boost, and all are having a nice range of healthy snacks (in moderation), corn, hemp, sunflowers, oyster shell and grit always present , greens, cuttings, banana and veggies. And grower/ rearer pellets as main feed.

She lost her few tail feathers very quickly exposing the base of her tail, but she has new feathers growing through with good strong sheaths and other than that she seems fine..?? How can a "POL bird with narrow pin bones be moulting already? Or do you think I have a more serious problem? Or not a POL girl at all? She looks and feels young to me.

Oh and bedding in new coop is hemp based chippings (horse bedding, but it's low on dust, absorbent, easy to clean and cosy) All other birds fine. One laying.

All responses welcome, lets keep it constructive though xxx
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
27,181
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
Unfortunately, chickens rarely read the manuals on how they are supposed to behave and develop. The manuals say they go through their first molt at 18 months. When, in actuality, other manuals say there are 5 mini-molts in the first year. My RIR went through a severe molt at 8 months, followed quickly by her 4 other flock mates, starting late October last year, She was nearly nude and her flock mates were also sporting varying amounts of nudity through the polar vortex winter. She's just now starting an other molt. Have you checked her for mites or lice? Animal protein is really great for helping birds with the molt process. Got any freezer burnt meat that you need to get rid of? Cook it up, and chop it up for the girls, feed in moderation. Welcome to BYC.
 

Henpeckedpirate

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jun 28, 2014
35
3
26
Thanks for the advice Lazy gardener, and the welcome :). I've had a quick check but I'll have a thorough look all over in the morning. (I'm in the UK). I'm not a massive fan of feeding meat, perhaps some scrambled egg whites and insects for a protein boost?
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
27,181
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
Do they get out to free range for insects? Chicken's natural diets include as much meat as they can get their beaks on... mice, frogs, bugs, snakes. What ever your comfort level is to boost their protein.
 

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