Two molts in one season?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bawkbawkbawk, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    My Buff Orpington went through a full-up molt in October-November. She lost enough feathers that she was cold at night on the roost and slept in the nesting box for a few weeks presumably for warmth.

    She seemed to have recovered, although I can't say her laying has been all that impressive. Last week I noticed she dropped a fair number of feathers again - nothing like the first time, but quite a few feathers in the pen and the coop. And she's been sleeping in the nesting box again.

    I'm wondering if it is a second molt - does that happen? - or if it might be a stress reaction of some kind. A day or two before she stopped dropping feathers again a red-tailed hawk tried to attack my girls and they were both (my other one is an EE) sufficiently terrified that they didn't really come out of their pen to free-range for a few days. No feathers were dropped on the spot, though; is it common for a hen to lose feathers after the fact like that? She hasn't laid an egg since the hawk episode - I'd say it's been almost a week.

    Oddly, the EE, who is exactly the same age as the BO, hasn't molted at all.

    Here they are:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Wish someone would reply - no thoughts?
     
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    I would think it is caused by stress. I've never heard of a bird going through 2 molts in one year.
     
  4. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks, Chooks - appreciate the input. She hasn't laid again in over a week although she seems fine otherwise.
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:I'm having a similar problem. I had a BCM that molted, started laying again for about 13 days, then quit laying again. (the other BCM is doing the same but she was laying for a month, then quit) Nothing has changed around here, so I don't know what's up with them. They both are eating and acting fine.
     

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