Young SLW hen, about 10 months old, moulting already? Not laying? Advice anyone?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mon27, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. Mon27

    Mon27 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a SLW hen, that I love dearly. She layed some eggs at around 6 months old. At about 8 months old she lost a lot of feathers around her neck and rump. It could have been due to breeding, but no one else was showing those signs. She stopped laying, that I know of, and her comb is not the dark and vibrant red it once was. It isnt super pale but is just sort of dull. She is so young. I feel like she should be laying really well. Could it be moult already? If so, her feathers have looked fully recovered for a month or so. Would she still be recovering from it? She is from Ideal, so hatchery stock of course. I just cant figure it out. Thanks for your help!!
     
  2. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, she could be molting. I had several pullets molt this winter, we've had a really strange winter. You can feed her protein scraps to help her through it. Do you see any pin feathers coming in?

    Their comb turns pale when they are not laying, it's normal for it to look like that when they are molting.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
  4. marktoo

    marktoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have 2 SLW & 2 GLW that are coming up on 45 weeks of age. I SLW started laying at 23 weeks, 1 SLW & 1 GLW started laying at 25 weeks old. The other GLW has never laid & started a slow partial molt in November. The GLW that was laying quit in December & is currently doing that same slow molt. The SLWs have supplied us 10 - 11 eggs week.

    The Goldens are cute & funny but that may not be enough to save em from the stew pot unless they get with the program. [​IMG]
     
  5. Mon27

    Mon27 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much! That is what I was wondering. I havent felt her but she LOOKS like she is fully feathered. I have never had a moult. She was just so young, only SEEMED to lose feathers on tail and neck and it has been two months. This gives me hope then. :) I will find her something yummy to eat with lots of protein. :)
     
  6. marktoo

    marktoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    This isn't all good news I'm afraid. While early molt isn't uncommon, spring chickens shouldn't molt for 18 mo or so according to a chicken expert I heard speak. Doing so is one indicator that a hen will be a poor layer. I tried to find out if that has been the experience of those on the forum but have been unable to verify.
     
  7. Mon27

    Mon27 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have worried and wondered about that exact same thing.... I wonder if it means she will go broody? I would love for that to happen. If doesnt lay and doesnt sit.. I dont know what I will do. She is my favorite. I have butchered some but I dont think I could butcher her. :( An 8 month old molt does seem strange. Maybe I should keep her separate for a while to see. I have a bunch of young ones reaching laying age so I am going to keep them up for a few days to help them get used to laying in there boxes. Maybe it will help if she is laying elsewhere... her comb color makes me think otherwise though. There doesnt seem to be much definitive info out there regarding this.
     
  8. marktoo

    marktoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    This is our first time with chickens, we only have 4, suppose to be be pets with benefits. A large part of those benefits are eggs, if they can't hold up their end of the bargain...I can't guarantee their safety. I've not butchered before but it has crossed my mind. Hoping it won't come to that!
     
  9. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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  10. Mon27

    Mon27 Out Of The Brooder

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    Have you had one molt at 8 or 9 months before? They layed just fine after that?
     

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