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Heavy Molting Chicken... not eating a lot and shivering

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi guys. I have a Dominque hen who went into a heavy molt about 2 1/2 months ago. She's lost a lot of weight. At first I just noticed she was hanging out by herself a lot then standing on one foot even in 60 degree weather to stay warm. She has been hanging in the brooder box for a couple weeks and I've been taking her food and water in the morning. Then she got hurt by a rooster so I brought her in to heal. I would put her back outside but am now concerned about her shivering. She's getting in a few feared but not nearly enough. She's still frail and baldish. I've tried everything from feather fixer to tuna. She'll devour some things then not eat... what do I do? Thanks!
post #2 of 5

Has she been wormed?

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
No, she hasn't. I use DE in their food and her poo looks normal. Should I give her something else?
post #4 of 5

As always, with chickens, it could be lots of things.

When chickens molt it takes a lot of energy to regrow feathers.

If she's not eating enough, she's going to have trouble warming herself.

She definitely needs to be kept in a warm place until you figure out whats going on and hopefully get her better.

80-85 degrees is optimal. 

Does her crop feel normal? Does it empty after she eats?  Is she drinking well?

You said she was injured by a rooster.  How long ago, and what was the injury?  Is she completely recovered?

If the feather loss is mostly on her back you can try a hen saddle.  That will also help keep her warm if her back is just bare.

If it's not the crop then I can only tell you what I'd do if it was me.  DE is really not effective inside a chicken. 

If you have a vet that will do a fecal float test for you that would verify or eliminate worms as an issue.

If that isn't an option I would go ahead and worm with Safeguard or Valbazen (albendazole, fenbendazole).

A worm infestation can cause a molt or contribute to a heavy one.  Often you will see runny poos, but not always.

And not necessarily visible worms.  Would account for weight loss and not eating well too. 

That's just where I would start, since it's common and simple. 

You may need to look at hand, syringe, or tube feeding if she isn't getting enough.

Casportpony has some really good posts on that and how much they need every day. 

Do a search at the top of the forum for Tube feeding, it'll come up.

Best of luck, perhaps someone else will have other ideas.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thank you Coach! :) 
This was a very thoughtful reply!!! I have ordered some Valbazen. I'm thinking you are right about something going on inside. I have two other molting birds but this particular one just isn't herself. She will eat here and there. I will check her crop in the morning. If it's not empty, what should I do? 

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