Why Golden pheasants lose their cape and tail feather

Discussion in 'Pheasants and Partridge (Chukar)' started by Cfaure, Dec 17, 2015.

  1. Cfaure

    Cfaure Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 17, 2015
    Vryburg North West
    Hi everyone. I am new on this site so hope I do it right. I got 2 Golden Pheasant breeding pairs. The one pair are 2 years old now. They laid 10 eggs and stopped. The pair that is 1 year old and got a month back is laying a egg every 3rd day. So why would the older pair have stopped?

    Not only have they stopped laying eggs the male lost his whole tail feathers and his cape has also falling out. Is that normal or is something wrong?
     
  2. Zoomie

    Zoomie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mora, NM USA
    Birds molt their feathers, and when they do, they stop laying. It's quite stressful to them to have to grow in new feathers and they should be treated really well during the molt - make sure they never run out of water, make sure the feed is excellent and high protein to help them grow back all those feathers.

    This is normal and they do this periodically throughout their lives. I am certain that if you search this site for "molt", you will find a ton of articles and information to help you understand this process better.

    Gorgeous birds!
     
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  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. Zoomie has explained the situation perfectly.
     
  4. Cfaure

    Cfaure Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 17, 2015
    Vryburg North West
    Thanx a lot. I was starting to freak out because everyone tells me it is rats. But why do the molt in breeding season? My Lady Amherst also stopped laying and the male also lost his tail feathers. But the Ringnecks, Reeves and other Golden pair is still laying. So do they molt different times of the year? There isnt a certain time of the year to molt?
     
  5. Zoomie

    Zoomie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my experience... and others should chime in with theirs: birds don't read vet books. They molt when they are ready, and not on anyone's schedule. Although, generally speaking and taking one thing with another, they generally molt in the late fall/early winter, they can also molt other times of the year. I've had birds molt in the early spring, late spring, early summer, late summer etc. Probably part of it depends on when they were hatched. With human care, chicks can hatch almost year round, so it's possibly that is part of the answer as to why.
     

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