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Year-Long Molt?!?,

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PlacervillePeeps, May 23, 2011.

  1. PlacervillePeeps

    PlacervillePeeps New Egg

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    May 23, 2011
    Our two year old Australorp has been looking like she is going through a molt for almost a year now. She used to be a great layer, but I have not seen her in a box in 8-10 months! Our flock has about 30 chickens, so it is hard to monitor her individually. She seems healthy in every other way and free ranges most of the day.

    Does anyone know what's going on? Thanks.
     
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Have you checked the flock for bugs lately? The last time my hens went off lay I discovered a massive mite infestation that I had missed until it nearly wiped out my flock. The day after the first treatment I got the first egg in months from my hens.
     
  3. PlacervillePeeps

    PlacervillePeeps New Egg

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    May 23, 2011
    Checked for mites. I didn't find anything. And wouldn't mites spread to the whole flock?

    Thanks for the suggestion, but I'm still at a loss for the solution.
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Have you noticed where this hen happens to be in the pecking order? It's been my experience that the lowest in the pecking order always seems to have the least feathers. And don't always assume the others are picking her feathers. The tremendous stress of being lowest ranking can cause the victim to pick out her own feathers.

    Sadly, there's not much that can be done to change this situation except introduce some new, younger chickens into the flock. But then one of them will end up being the lowest in the cruel pecking order.
     
  5. PlacervillePeeps

    PlacervillePeeps New Egg

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    May 23, 2011
    This Australorp is one of the oldest and more dominant birds in the flock. Doesn't really look hen-pecked. More like scraggly.

    You answered one of our other questions regarding one of our young Ameracuanas, though. Thank you.
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Colorado Rockies
    At two years old, has she ever had a real molt? Usually around a year from when they begin to lay, they have their first molt.

    I had a Brahma of the age of your girl who was in what seemed to be a permanent molt. I posted here asking about it, and someone suggested that she may be in, what they call, "stuck in molt".

    To jolt her out of it, you need to feed her a massive amount of high-grade protein. Scrambled eggs, canned tuna or salmon, yogurt, etc. It worked for my girl, and she responded by growing in beautiful new feathers.

    But on the other hand, I had a two year old SLW rooster who looked like he was going through molt - very scraggly, two tail feathers, and he died suddenly one night of an apparent heart attack.

    If I were you, I'd assume she is stuck in molt, if this condition began when she molted. Feed her as much protein as she'll eat at one feeding each day. If it's prolonged molt, she'll show signs of improvement in a few weeks.
     
  7. PlacervillePeeps

    PlacervillePeeps New Egg

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    May 23, 2011
    Thank You!!![​IMG]

    We'll try what you suggested right away.
     

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