1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

too heavy molt?????

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ladybuglives, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. ladybuglives

    ladybuglives Out Of The Brooder

    58
    0
    39
    Apr 30, 2010
    humboldt county
    Hello -- this is my second experience with molting and one of my B.O.s is molting like crazy and fast!!!! She is losing all kinds of feathers all at once. Her bottom is bald. Her wings look awful and she is not eating. She is obviously uncomfortable but will only nibble at food here and there. I know that they need extra protein during a molt but she won't eat the egg, meat or tuna except in little bits. Meanwhile all the other girls grab the food away from her. The only other hen I've had molt was my other B.O. but she did it slowly over many months due to an illness (egg yolk peritonitis) and treatment (limiting her daylight hours to get her to stop laying). She is gorgeous and ready for winter. I remember when she started molting she didn't want to eat either but she didn't drop pounds of feathers all at once!!!!!! I mean this one is going to be bald if she keeps this up!!!!

    Help!!!

    Lisa
     
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    6,771
    125
    281
    Apr 15, 2009
    Actually, it is better that they drop their feathers all at once than over a longer period of time. It is a sign of a more productive hen. Her molt will be faster, so she will go back to producing eggs sooner. Molt is tough on birds. An increase in protein and some NutriDrench are both helpful to add needed nutrients. Hopefully nature will just take its course and your bird will be beautiful in no time.

    I have one particular bird that molts like yours. She always has. She drops all her feathers practically overnight. It's amazing. She looks ridiculous.

    Good luck.
     
  3. juliawitt

    juliawitt Chillin' With My Peeps

    368
    6
    121
    Aug 9, 2009
    I have a SLW going through a hard molt right now. She looks plucked and she is very irritable. However, Lisa is right, hard molting is a sign of a good layer. She will look beautiful again, it will just be awhile. I compare the hard molt to my bad hair day. I look bad, so I'm not in the best of moods, so your hen may be thinking the same thing. When I give special treats, I carry the hen outside the run and give the treat there, so she can eat unmolestated. Makes her feel special. Good luck, your hen will be beautiful again soon.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    5,719
    42
    283
    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Some chickens get bullied when they're molting. I think this happens more often if it's a harder molt and the chicken looks smaller or different.

    I would do what you need to do, to allow her to eat more normal amounts of food. That might be adding another feed container in a slightly different area, tossing food in a wider area or putting her in a separate spot to eat a couple of times a day. Just do whatever works in your situation, with your flock.
     
  5. cackleberrycoop

    cackleberrycoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    964
    2
    121
    Oct 13, 2010
    Montana
    Lots of good advice. The only thing that I can think of to add is to check her over for mites or lice - I have found that my hens who go into these hard molts are more vulnerable for a little time, and if they do have a case of the itchy crawlies, then they are very, very uninterested in food.
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,485
    2,431
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I'm sure they don't feel well but like CMV said, a quick molt is a desireable trait.
     
  7. ladybuglives

    ladybuglives Out Of The Brooder

    58
    0
    39
    Apr 30, 2010
    humboldt county
    Thanks for the responses! It makes me feel better to hear that this is not abnormal. I just wish she would eat more!!! I guess if she is eating something each day and drinking plenty of water (with Rooster Booster in it every other day) then she will get through this. She is skinny to begin with though so I hate to see her like this!
     
  8. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

    793
    2
    121
    Apr 22, 2011
    West Coast USA
    Quote:I worry whenever I see a hen go into a hard molt too, even though I know it's natural. It's hard not to worry when it looks so horrendous!
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,485
    2,431
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Just be glad it's now and not when it's real cold. I have a Black Jersey Giant that looks more like a Turken Naked Neck now.
    About half of my birds over a year old are molting now. I wish they'd all do it and get it over with.
    This is a rough time on them and you'll have to decide for your situation but I planned on worming now since I'm getting so few eggs. The egg withdrawal period wouldn't hurt me as much.
     
  10. ladybuglives

    ladybuglives Out Of The Brooder

    58
    0
    39
    Apr 30, 2010
    humboldt county
    What do you use to worm them? I have never done it and my girls are 1 1/2 years old. I give them apple cider vinegar in their water and had there poop tested in the spring -- no worms.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by