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Hens in molt!

Posted by Lynn&Ron Bailey - Created: 3 years ago
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10 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 10)

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Posted by Lynn&Ron Bailey - 3 years ago

Thanks very much

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Posted by Lynn&Ron Bailey - 3 years ago

Thank you very much

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Posted by Lynn&Ron Bailey - 3 years ago

Thank you very much!

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Posted by Lynn&Ron Bailey - 3 years ago

Thank you!

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Posted by buster-784461 - 3 years ago

Just make sure the hens have plenty of soft earth /dust so they can 'bath'!

http://www.betterhensandgardens.com/chickens-dont-take-water-baths-they-take-dust-baths/

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Posted by kathyd2 - 3 years ago

Fine sawdust isn't good for the chickens though, you need to use the wood shavings which are sold as pet bedding... Mites hide in the hollow straw, which is why straw isn't recommended in sleeping areas.  However, you can still get red mites even with wood shavings - I speak from experience!

People on the chicken forum I use recommend creocote (safer version of creocote) scrubbed into every nook and cranny to get rid of mites, but you need to leave the coop 2 or 3 days to air and get rid of the smell before putting the birds back in, so you need to have alternative accommodation for a short period.  In between coatings they apply diatomaceous earth liberally around the coop and on the birds.

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Posted by Jivedance-411773 - 3 years ago

Just picking up on the possibility of red mite in the coop. I had a very bad problem with the mite around two years ago. They even got into the workings of my internal door opener and closer, it never worked again. I tried all the dusting sprays, blow torch around nooks and crannies (not on the chickens) it was successful for a while but the mite always came back. Then someone told me to use sawdust intstead of straw in the nesting box. This I did and I have never had a problem with mite since then.

Not sure why sawdust works but it does.

 

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Posted by kathyd2 - 3 years ago

Agree with kerivon - assuming it's a normal moult, increase their protein a bit. I give scrambled or chopped  hard boiled eggs, dried mealworms, tinned cat food which the cats haven't eaten, finely grated cheese (not too much), tinned fish - lots of possibilities :).  My birds usually moult at the end of the year, ensuring they're all bare and cold just as the winter kicks in... logical eh??  However, the first year we got them, some did moult earlier and extremely enthusiastically... possibly the stress of the move and being mixed with unfamilar birds since we bought from more than one person? 

But as you're a new chicken keeper and maybe not 100% into the usual routines yet, it's also worth dusting for lice (not the same as red mites) - I buy rodeo green vet powder from the vet, and also add diamatomeaceous earth to their dust bath and the coop periodically.  Also treat the coop for red mite at least once a year, especially during warmer weather, and don't forget to worm them at least twice a year, or more often if you know you  have an infestation.

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Posted by firestarter-435430 - 3 years ago

More likely to be a normal moult but it is worth checking for mites - if it is red mites they come out at night and feed on the chickens while roosting - during the day they hide in dark corners and in crevices.  You need to get powder to treat the coop and try to leave the lids off if possible to expose to sunlight.  If you your chickens are suffering from red mite attacks their combs will go paler as they are losing blood.

All chickens moult but it's normally later in the year.  Once in a while they will do a major moult where they actually pull out their feathers.  At this time they will stop laying as all the body's energy goes into producing the new feathers.

My advice is to inspect the coop thoroughly and check for mites first but if you find nothing then probably nothing to worry about.  Chickens love cat food and also sunflower seeds, both of which are high in protein and will help supplement their diet.

 

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Posted by kerivon - 3 years ago

I would check them for mites or other skin problems, if it's definitely just moulting we always give ours extra protein in the form of yoghurt or hard boiled eggs with meal worms. Also we sometimes change their feed to growers pellets instead of layers for the extra protein until they regrow their feathers.