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Hen stopped laying, losing feathers, not eating much...what is wrong?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I have a 22 month old hen that seems to be offish since about a week ago. She has stopped laying since a week, and this morning I found a huge pile of her feathers under the roost. I know these are signs of a molt but here's the thing... I have 4 hens total, all the same age, and they all sort of molted last fall during november-december. They were all losing feathers on and off, it seemed like a very slow molt that was barely noticeable. They were around 18 months old so it makes sense that they were molting at the time. None stopped laying completely though, they layed eggs every other day.

 

The concern I have with this one hen is also that her crop is never full at night like the others. She has a bit of food inside, but not as much as usual, it's a pretty small crop. She does eat throughout the day and acts pretty normal although she seems more tired than usual sometimes. Also, why would she suddenly start losing so much feathers again at 22 months? In the middle of winter, while is can get pretty cold here in Quebec, Canada..Could the same molt just continue after some time off? I'm concerned about all these things..not eating much, not laying, and suddenly molting again...

 

There were no changes in their diets, no changes in lighting, I don't see any stress factor that could provoke this...

 

Any input would be greatly appreciated..thank you!

post #2 of 8

There is a high probability that it is just a molt. Keep watching her or show me a pic.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

do you think that would also explain the fact that she is not eating much?

post #4 of 8

Yes.

post #5 of 8
If you have never wormed your flock, now would probably be a good time to do it. Check every hen for body condition.
Edited by enola - 2/21/16 at 1:46pm
post #6 of 8

She may have worms, which would explain her not eating.  The feather loss is probably just a molt!  My Barred Rock hen lost all of her feathers suddenly as well :)

post #7 of 8

Have you checked for external parasites?

Might want to isolate her in a wire cage in the coop for a day or two,

monitor her food/water intake and poops.

Take a poop sample to vet for fecal exam.

 

What exactly and all are you feeding them?


Edited by aart - 2/22/16 at 6:55am

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for you replies. We are trying to find a vet to do a fecal exam - we are having such a hard time! No ordinary vet will do it, I called 3 clinics in my area. There's one that I'm waiting on an answer to see if they can do it or not...fingers crossed.

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