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    • CommentAuthorvolka
    • CommentTimeOct 14th, 2009 5:00pm (Oct 14th 2009)
     
    Has anyone else's chickens not started moulting yet? All four of mine look as fluffy as ever - except Rosie who seems to have lost a small strip of feathers from her chest.

    She hasn't got lice or mites but is still broody so is she trying to cool down by pulling the feathers out?

    And do chickens moult every year anyway?

    Ever other chicken I have seen in the last few weeks looks really manky because they're moulting!
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeOct 14th, 2009 5:21pm (Oct 14th 2009)
     
    When Livia's chest/neck went bald like that it was a precursor to broodiness. She's growing feathers BACK at the moment after presenting us with Littlebeak.
    •  
      CommentAuthorneil
    • CommentTimeOct 15th, 2009 4:51pm (Oct 15th 2009)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I think they pull the feathers from their chest to keep the temperature of the eggs UP, not to cool down, but a bald chest is a definite sign of broodiness (in chickens!)
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 16th, 2009 10:25am (Oct 16th 2009)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Yep, they pluck feathers to help transfer the right amount of heat to the eggs.

    As for moulting, they could be late or are perhaps not old enough to moult yet? Are they over a year old? Chucks don't moult until year two quite often, i believe :)

    Oh and the first year the usually screw up and end up moulting in December - ours did, when it was coldest and snowing! :rolling:
    • CommentAuthorvolka
    • CommentTimeOct 16th, 2009 4:13pm (Oct 16th 2009)
     
    Thanks for that - explains why my girls aren't moulting. How long does broodiness last? It's been about 3 weeks now.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 19th, 2009 6:18pm (Oct 19th 2009)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Depends on the individual hen and their patience! :P

    Penny was broody for a few weeks before giving up, for Tilly it lasted months. You can leave them to come around on their own if you want (as long as they are eating and drinking properly) or can try snap them out of it. Remove the eggs as frequently as possible, turf her off the nest and lock her out, give her her favourite treats and see if that will keep her away from the nest!

    However if you're not bothered about her being broody you can leave her to it, as long as it doesn't look like it is affecting her health :001_smile:
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeOct 19th, 2009 6:23pm (Oct 19th 2009)
     
    I always take mine off the nest and move them to a new pen, if possible. It does take some time to convince them that broody is a bad idea, mine sit even if there are no eggs under them at all..goofy chickens.:bigsmile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeOct 19th, 2009 7:51pm (Oct 19th 2009)
     
    Or you could get fertilised eggs and see what happens...
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 20th, 2009 10:51pm (Oct 20th 2009)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Dunno how well the chicks'd do in the winter though, although i read an interesting article by someone in America who hatched chicks whilst it was snowing out, and left them outside and everything! Are you in the UK Volka...?
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeOct 21st, 2009 4:00am (Oct 21st 2009)
     
    Sage & Onion presented me with chicks on Secember the first...I was panic stricken, but they lived!
    • CommentAuthorvolka
    • CommentTimeOct 21st, 2009 11:37am (Oct 21st 2009)
     
    Posted By: RedAre you in the UK Volka...?


    We are - North Bedfordshire. I was worried about raising chicks in winter but I do fancy it in a year or so's time - you know, when we know what we're doing!!
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeOct 21st, 2009 5:28pm (Oct 21st 2009)
     
    Nah don't be chicken - do it blind like I did!
    •  
      CommentAuthorneil
    • CommentTimeOct 26th, 2009 12:30pm (Oct 26th 2009)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    The hens have a much better idea of how to do it than we do - we panicked every time a chick did something out of the ordinary, but when Milly raised them we just enjoyed the whole thing (apart from Scarlet who Milly sometimes got to babysit whilst she went digging around in the garden!)