The Longest Moult Ever?


This is our lovely Rose, well she is lovely to us anyway. When we got her in April this year her neck feathers were partially missing, whether or not this was the start of her moult or effects of caged life (neck rubbing against the battery cage whilst feeding etc) I just don’t know. Time has gone on and she has moulted out all of her neck feathers, only to regrow the feathers immediately behind her earlobes. The rest of her neck is bare.

Recently she also decided to get shot of her knickers, so each morning I am greeted by her pink bottom. Charming! No sign of her knick knocks making a come back either im afraid, this moult seems to be never ending. I wonder which part of herself she will decide to moult out next? Lily was feather pinching for a bit but seems to have stopped now after a taste of gentian violet spray, courtesy of Rose’s bare bottom. Yum.

I know some moults can take forever, how to help them through it and the reasons behind it etc etc but  I really wish she would grow her clothes back soon, its so cold now I worry for her. Frostbite worries me too (can you tell im a born worrier?) so the vaseline pot came out again today, which of course the girls all love. Not. I have not resorted to smearing it on Rose’s bum just yet but I may have to at this rate, it was -5 here the other night.

Ewwww, the joys of chicken keeping!

9 thoughts on “The Longest Moult Ever?

  1. Cathy the ex batty hen was like your Rose, but she FINALLY has nearly a full set of feathers, just her tail to come back…

    She was a baldy when I got her, back in April..and has been moulting and growing feathers on various different bits of her since….

    Rose will look even more lovely when she DOES get all her feathers, if Cathy is anything to go by!


  2. Try not to worry, our Pattie took a good 18 months to get herself in order. Maureen has only this year (after 2 years of having her) gone through a proper moult and grown all her headgear back finally!

    Hens can tolerate the cold much, much better than heat, so should be OK as long as they have enough bedding in the house. We throw over a couple of layers of horticultural thermal fleece (it’s breathable but warm) over the henhouse in the winter, sometimes in the deep, dark depths of winter putting a layer of bubblewrap underneath the fleece (but making sure there’s still plenty of ventilation). They should be OK, they have so much featherage going on!

    Rich also told me that chickens don’t have much feeling in their skin. I do wonder if they ever get terribly cold feet or not though….chicken shoes just wouldn’t work though would they?!


  3. Compostwoman, I do hope she feathers up soon like your Cathy has!

    Thursday, thankyou! Its my favourite photo of her.

    Lucy, oh blimey your henny moults are much much longer than ours. I also wonder about their feet getting cold and we have the dreaded bumblefoot to contend with arggghhh.


  4. I love your writing, you had me laughing, and I could picture everything. Its a frustrating process when they are going through something like that, their little bodies must just take a lot of energy to get those feathers in order. I hope she gets her outfit worked out soon, so that she can be comfortable.
    Our frustration all this winter is the lack of egg laying out in the barn. We have a couple girls that are being good and laying every day or two, but the rest have just decided to take the winter off I suppose.
    Your picture is wonderful, how do you convince your girls to hold still for a good photo? I cant get my chickens to think that the camera is a good idea, there are far too many other interesting things to explore.


  5. Compostwoman, hee hee chickens booties would look so cool!

    dowhatyoulove, glad I made you laugh ;) The laying has not been too bad considering the lack of light and cold dreary days, averaging 4 to 5 eggs per day from 6 birds but I suppose because they are ex batts they are almost programmed to lay bless em.

    Thanks for your comment on her photo, its a lucky shot I guess as chickens are so unpredicatable with their movement and very hard to photograph as you probably already know. I kept the focus trained on her face and just kept shooting, I got this one because she saw something that kept her attention for all of 2 seconds! Ideally I would have liked more space in front of her beak but I was lucky to get anything decent at all.


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