Chicken Moult

Around this time of year, when our chickens are going through their late autumn moult, coops and pens resemble a chicken crime scene. Huge bundles of feathers strewn everywhere!

For the new chicken keeper, experiencing chicken moult can be alarming. When your flock decide it’s time for a change of clothes their feathers literally drop out overnight, covering the bedding on the coop floor. Sometimes a soft moult is all that’s needed just an area of the body here and there, these partial moults often go on unnoticed but when a hard moult is going on your chickens will look really scruffy for a while, perhaps even naked. Late summer to early winter is usually the time for moult but it can occur at anytime of the year. Your chickens may all go into a moult together or just 1 or 2 at a time.

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The Longest Moult Ever?

rose

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!