Questions on molting

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Hope119, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. Hope119

    Hope119 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2009
    Our rooster has been "missing" feathers for quite a while now (a month?), he started from the neck (although I don't remember if his neck was naked, but his wonderful yellow feathers are gone from there for sure) and now all his belly, part of bottom and parts of legs are naked. Well, there are small feathers in some naked areas (I am hoping that those are new feathers growing).

    Now there is one chicken that appear to have the same thing happening on her chest (I noticed yesterday). I can't look well, because that one is not easy to catch - I don't think I have caught her ever since summer - she is the one who is afraid of us the most, but she is also the one (out of 5 chickens) who never stopped laying once she started in October. SHE IS STILL LAYING EGGS - and that is what makes me worried - they should stop laying when they are molting, right?

    I picked up rooster twice trying to find any lice signs - I had accidentally seen one picture of lice on a feather here somewhere... but I have not read on lice yet and what signs should be - and I did not see any lice.

    Our chickens hatched at the end of April last year and are 10 months old.

    so my questions are
    1) how do I make sure it is molting and normal and not something else
    2) if our roo is molting, are eggs still good for hatching? I plan to start an incubator in a week.

    Thank you!!
     
  2. BrewedInNh

    BrewedInNh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Southern NH
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Hope119

    Hope119 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2009
    Bump. (still have all those questions, the chicken seems to have less feathers this morning - she is naked on her neck/chest - that area that is in front).
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Do you have some homework ahead of you! And you thought you were safe on a weekend. [​IMG]

    I think these two sites read together give great information on molting. They are written more for hens than roosters, but the same principles apply.

    Mississippi State describes molting
    http://msucares.com/poultry/management/poultry_feathers.html

    Kansas State feather loss
    http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/library/lvstk2/mf2308.pdf

    From your post, I really think it is molting since it started around his head. Different things can cause a molt, not just shorter days. But you are right. It is possible it is not molting but might be mites or lice, or even something else. When checking for mites, don't forget that roost mites only come out at night. You have to check after dark to find those.

    Ohio State – Mites and Lice
    http://ohioline.osu.edu/vme-fact/0018.html

    West Virginia – Mites and Lice
    http://www.wvu.edu/~exten/infores/pubs/livepoul/pfs23.pdf

    Good luck!
     
  5. Hope119

    Hope119 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, Ridgerunner!
    I already started reading (coming to parasites page I realized that I can't enjoy my sandwich and read that at the same time, so I am taking a break to thank you [​IMG])
    Quote:I am SAHM and my weekends are not much different from the work days [​IMG].
     
  6. tcscivic12

    tcscivic12 Out Of The Brooder

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    It is molting. The one hen will stop laying soon.
     
  7. Hope119

    Hope119 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2009
    She did not lay today.

    When I checked around 3:20pm there was no eggs at all, although one chicken (not the molting one) is sitting on the nest, so there should be at least one egg today. But yesterday for the first time during winter it was obvious that all 5 layed an egg - so I know that all 5 were/are laying.
     
  8. Hope119

    Hope119 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2009
    I was wrong. She did lay - dh and ds just came back from the coop - they brought 4 eggs, including one from the molting chicken.
     

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