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To molt or not to molt?........that is the ?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by buffy O's, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. buffy O's

    buffy O's Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2009
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    Hope this is in the right spot.
    We have a sexlink hen that is about 6 months, maybe 7, anyways she has been laying for approx. 3 months. Well, then about 3 wks. ago she just stopped, nothing at all, she acts fine, she looks fine. She will not let the roos around her, she always runs off. I mean she doesn't act sick or hurt at all.
    I'm saying all that to say this, is she molting? I know they do in the fall, this is our first yr. with chickens so I'm not sure what is going on. I'm posting some pics of her and please you all tell me what you think. I can't tell that she has lost any feathers, but like I said we're new to this.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/32335_100_5258.jpg[/img
    [​IMG]
     
  2. walbarbsa

    walbarbsa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They're going into the molt! In a few days/weeks, you'll find feathers all over the place and your hens will look dilapidated and, well, just plain awful. They their feathers will come back anew and they'll be more gorgeous than before. Egg production will pick up in about 10-12 weeks, maybe sooner.

    I'm in the molt right now and am getting 5-7 eggs from 25+ laying hens!
     
  3. DianeB

    DianeB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They look like my chicky-chics. I can't wait until mine get their nice, new feathers. Right now, they look like ragamuffins.
     
  4. buffy O's

    buffy O's Out Of The Brooder

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    Allardt
    so you all think she is going into molt? Wellll.... I hope this is about as bad as it gets;)[​IMG]. Yeah right! Really tho I'm just dreading them being without feathers:/[​IMG], she is so sweet and I think she is still a beauty. That's just my opinion:D[​IMG].
    Oh, is it normal for the hens not to let the roos do thier job with them when they are in molt?
     
  5. buffy O's

    buffy O's Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2009
    Allardt
    anybody????
     
  6. catdaddyfro

    catdaddyfro Overrun With Chickens

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    Sep 16, 2009
    Vernon Parish
    Actually If she's only 6to 7 mos. she really shouldn't molt until next molting season unless she's an early molter. Which is undesirable in a prodution laying breed or hybrid egg layers. She should not go into molt till next molting season right about this time next year. Around 18 mo. is the usual time for most chickens to go into first molt then its pretty much every 12 mos. from then on. This also depends on what time of the year they are hatched. I have 5 hens I hatched spring of last year and they still have not molted and haven't shown any signs of starting yet. They look really bad, plumage wise, but they have been laying regularly for over a year now. They should go into molt this winter, I know that sounds crazy, they will and they'll get new feathers for warm'th when the temps get cold. It's still warm here in La. and they haven't even thought about molt yet. Not one of my hens not even the older ones that did molt last year. They are Prodution reds and other different assortments of layers. But I know its a comin'.

    Then on the other hand I have some crossbreeds of no telling what, really, probably everything you could name off bantam or game wise, they've got a little bit in them, and they are some very interesting colors in that mix I might add. Last year they molted early about this time of the year. And then when they got their feathers back they did not lay another egg till springtime this year.(which is typical for what is called seasonal layers) If you you look at the ads from hatcheries they will say orders filled Feb. thru Oct. because alot of them are non- production breeds or breeds that are not your typical winter time layers and have stopped or slacked off laying to molt and won't lay enough eggs to fill all the orders until production picks back up again in the spring. The egg suppliers have very limited numbers of these breeds and don't have as many brand new pullets every year to keep up with the demand of orders.

    Now, your Black Sex-link is a production hybrid, and she should not go into early molt. That characteristic should've been bred out. If it wasn't, the egg laying farms would not use them or any other egg producing breed or hybrid type that starts molting in their first year of laying. They'd go broke waiting for umpteen thousand layers to go through molt. So that's why they will purchase pullets (like yours if she's is 6or7 mos. old, actully she should have been laying for 2 to 2.5 mos. by now) around 4.5 to 5 mos. or what is refered to as: point of lay and they keep them till they start their molt or production slows the next year and then replace them with brand new pullets and soforth.

    So to get back to you girl. To me I don't see any signs of molt yet and as far as egg production alot of hens slack off this time of the year due to less daylight hours and cooler temps. Or she could
    have had an illness, gotten frightened, been fighting with other hens or maybe she's a recessive hen and the others simply run her out of the nest. There's just a number of reasons why she stopped laying early. They have a very delicate system and it doesn't take much to get them out of sync. Maybe she needs a little additional protien to her diet as the temps are cooler and it takes a little more substanence to help make eggs and to generate more body heat. Check out my thread in this sect.: Just sharing.....and alot of ?'s this time of year on this subject.

    I'll sign off for now to give your eyeballs a break for a while but if you have anything else to ask just holler it on here and I'm sure us BYCer's will give it a shot. I've not seen any shyness of somebody answering Questions yet. And I'll probably get some differences in opinion on this, but what the heck, that's what we're here for, to learn and talk about things ain't it.

    By The way buffy O's quote says: anybody????

    Well ther ya go, you asked. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it or I might change something if convined otherwise.

    Boy, she's sure got a fluffy butt... for a BSL that is.

    Ya'll come on down and Gitcha Summ!


    catdaddyfro

    P.S. don't forget them Peanut Butter and Bannana sandwiches. They're good for ya.
     
  7. DianeB

    DianeB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My hens are all production breeds and they are going into a molt too. I just took one to the vet a few days ago and asked about molting in the first year. It is natural and normal. They may not go into a hard molt as older hens do, but they will molt.

    Production varities are usually kept in conditions that prevent them from molting until their second year (lights on for 16+ hours, temperature controlled, deprived food to force molting).

    Mine aren't in those type of conditions, so they have slowed down their laying and have been slowly losing their feathers. I am not worried that they mine are molting and slowing down after only a few months in production. They will finish their molt and start up laying again in the Spring.

    My hens were very productive over the Summer. They were just given a clean bill of health - perfect heart, lungs, liver and no disease or parasites. I would not consider them defective in any way, just normal.

    DB
     
  8. buffy O's

    buffy O's Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2009
    Allardt
    thanks catdaddyfro.......I appreciate the info. She has not been a recessive hen or hasn't been sick or even signs of fighting. Actually I would have said she was the top hen to start with, she was the first layer and is just a good girl, pretty friendly, seemed to be the leader I guess you would say.
    Anyways she acts fine other than no eggs and won't let the roo around her. We see no signs of illness in any of our chickens.
    By-the-way I appreciate anyone who takes the time to post to my questions:). That's what we're here for, to help each other. Although I am pretty ignorant. I do love my chickens tho![​IMG]
    buffy
     
  9. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    That is one pretty bird! [​IMG]
     
  10. buffy O's

    buffy O's Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2009
    Allardt
    thank you, Beekissed. We think she is a beauty. That's just us tho.[​IMG]
     

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