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Signs of Molting

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Reurra, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. Reurra

    Reurra Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 11, 2012
    Nova Scotia
    Ok, Ive tried to get a good bead on what going on with my big 13 month old hen Dragon. She seems calmer, shes laying softer eggs, some are brittle, despite having oyster shell available and layer feed. She appears to be normal in every way, but the egg laying bit. Ive checked for mites, she has none. Ive been planning on worming soon, but I dont think they are loaded with worms.

    So I came here and found someone asking about molting cycles.

    What are some signs and symptoms?

    I read a shriveled comb and wattles, which Dragon seems to have smaller than usual.

    I read that eggs can become brittle and sometimes soft shelled.

    She is preening more frequently too. Although I have only noticed my roosters feathers in the coop, no black ones from Dragon. Im pretty sure the roo is molting.
     
  2. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    May 11, 2010
    Ain't no doubt when a chicken is molting:

    Big Sister in all her glory. Due to genetics she has a small comb and wattles.
    [​IMG]


    Big Sister in the middle of a full molt. YIKES!
    [​IMG]




    The two hens in front are suffering from over mating. Note the missing patches along their backs.
    [​IMG]


    This is April who endured a partial molt-only her head and neck were involved.
    [​IMG]


    The next two photos are of Crazy Eyes who endured a partial molt also. Her wattles and comb are reduced in size due to her molt.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Even a partial molt is a fairly dramatic occurrence. The affected bird appears normal one day and the next morning they are this hideous mass of flaky pin feathers.

    During any molt I'll add protein to their diet of laying pellets. I like to use a product called Calf Manna, however, a good quality dry cat food will do well.

    Many breeds stop laying during molt while the super production breeds may continue laying and sometimes they will lay funky-shelled eggs.

    Otherwise, a bird who appears normal on the outside but is laying abnormal eggs my have a developing problem with their reproductive tracts. Various infections, neoplasias,or age can cause problem with laying.

    Hope this helps and send my regards to Dragon.
     
  3. Reurra

    Reurra Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 11, 2012
    Nova Scotia
    Thanks Oldchick!

    Im not sure what to think of her behavior. Her tail is up, she is eating and drinking, even sunning herself. I bought saddles for the girls because our roo has been very vigorous, but I took it off yesterday because I thought maybe it was causing her to get too warm. Both the girls have the same feather loss from over mating. The roo loves the ladies.

    So i guess im back to square one.
     

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