What does molting look like?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by QChickieMama, Oct 10, 2014.

  1. QChickieMama

    QChickieMama Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    We've had chickens for 4 years. In the last 2 weeks, we've had a hen (1.5 yrs old) start to lose LOTS of feathers. They're from all over her body. She's interacting fine with the other hens. She's roosting during the day some and sleeping in the nest box. I don't think she's been laying for 2 weeks.

    Is this normal molting? Should I be doing something about this situation? She doesn't seem to have obvious symptoms on her head.
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    Sounds like a molt. Offer extra protein - mealy worms, cooked eggs. See thread on home page:

    Official BYC Contest - Worst Chicken Molt Pictures - Fall/Winter 2014


    But keep in mind these are the extreme cases. Mine are going thru softer slower molts..but somedays I find enough feathers it's hard to believe they aren't naked.
     
  3. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    Oh, and look at your chickens skin, if you see short new pins growing , the for sure it's a molt.
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    The clue is lots of feathers suddenly. For example, last week I knew my youngest was starting molt when I went to pick her up and her entire tail fell off onto the ground.
     
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  5. sdm111

    sdm111 Overrun With Chickens

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    Looks like a chicken exploded in my back yard
     
  6. QChickieMama

    QChickieMama Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    I'm so relieved! I hope it IS just a sudden molt. I'm just surprised that after 4 years, this is the first situation I've seen quite like this.

    She does have pins poking out here and there. I can try to take a photo.
     
  7. sdm111

    sdm111 Overrun With Chickens

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    It is also urged not to handle them during the molt
     
  8. QChickieMama

    QChickieMama Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    After looking at the horrible photos from Home page, I've decided she must be molting. She looks just as pitiful.

    Why would she decide to molt just as the weather's cooling down? Isn't she chilly?
     
  9. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    Mine started their first molt in August, had not expected it til Fall.
    But found they molt because days get shorter and not because of temperature.

    She may look pitiful now, but as the new feathers come in she'll be beautiful again! [​IMG]
     
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