Serious moulting or something else?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by littlebirchfarm, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. littlebirchfarm

    littlebirchfarm Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 1, 2012
    Plainfield MA
    Hi All!
    One of our girls appears to be experiencing a severe moult, but I want to make sure that it's not something more serious. The reason I'm asking is that she seems to be having trouble walking this morning, side-stepping a little but making it to where she's headed. Is the walking issue related to a severe moult or the sign of something more serious? She doesn't appear to have mites but I was afraid to dust her with DE as she's so vulnerable. Thanks for any info
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Wow! That is pretty severe. She's going to have a nice new coat of feathers for the winter, that's for sure.

    Yep, that does look like molting. I wouldn't worry about anything else, unless you see mites, etc on her. I'd probably feel kind of crappy if I lost all my feathers like that too. Expect her to just kind of hunker down, not interact a lot, etc until her feathers come back in. I believe they know they're more vulnerable to predators during this time, so they naturally confine themselves to safer places. They also conserve energy, growing all those feathers back is going to take a lot of calories and protein. Make sure she's got good high protein feed--this is the time to nix the layer and switch to grower or all flock, something like that. High protein treats like meal worms or plain ol meat is good also.
  3. littlebirchfarm

    littlebirchfarm Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 1, 2012
    Plainfield MA
    Yes, I feel so sad for the poor girl, I've never seen a moult quite so bad. She's shying away from the rest of the flock, and hiding out in the bushes - as you said, probably more aware of predators. I'll probably separate her from the rest of flock and up her protien until she starts feeling better. Thanks for your imput!
  4. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2013
    Check around her vent, it could be lice too. You wont see lice on the legs like with mites, you will see them as well as eggs around the vent area and on the tail feathers. Lice can cause lethargicness, loss of appetite and loss of feathers
  5. DancingWthDucks

    DancingWthDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2016
    Cumbria, UK
    Maybe try feeding her Nutrena Feather Fixer?

    Poor girl! She looks like she's having a tough molt.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Just a really hard molt, Yikes!....looks like feathers are coming fine tho.
    I'd be careful about separating her......can have trouble integrating them back in.
    Hard to handle them like's very uncomfortable to be touched with all those pin feathers.
    Maybe just give them all some scrambled eggs, make sure she gets her share.

    The walking thing's hard to tell, I know mine who molt hard can be pretty inactive

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