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Molting, stress or hen pecking

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Is this molting, hen pecking or stress?
Our sex link Snowball is looking rough. Bare or broken feathers on her wings & chest.






Her wing feathers are bare in places.






Edited by SillyRooster - 3/27/16 at 8:49pm
post #2 of 9
She may be over-preening due to stress, it doesn't look like aggression from other hens since it is around the chest area. Do you have a roo in with her? Make sure she is getting enough calcium such as oyster shell. She may just be getting ready to molt. Hoping for improvement!

Regards,
Leaf
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks, she is in with a rooster. There are seven hens with this roo.
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by SillyRooster View Post

Thanks, she is in with a rooster. There are seven hens with this roo.

Could be that he is picking on her, but I'm thinking molting. Do you have a source of calcium supplement in there for them? Do you know how high she is on the "pecking order"? Hoping for the best!

Regards,
Leaf
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeafBlade12345 View Post

Could be that he is picking on her, but I'm thinking molting. Do you have a source of calcium supplement in there for them? Do you know how high she is on the "pecking order"? Hoping for the best!

Regards,
Leaf

Hey there. We do add crushed oyster shells to their food. She's definitely on the lower end of the pecking order that I can tell. The other chickens perch on the roost but she sleeps in a nest box.

When we bought her at the local farm, they were all in big tent/hut thing with no perches only nest boxes, but the other hens we bought that day all sleep on the perch.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
The other hens we got that day had some patchy spots on their chests too but nothing like Snowball.
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by SillyRooster View Post

The other hens we got that day had some patchy spots on their chests too but nothing like Snowball.

I'm guessing that they were in overcrowded conditions where Snowball was constantly picked on, most probably while sitting in the nest box. Originally it didn't sound like abuse from other hens because of the location of the picked feathers, but it fits together now. Make sure she gets extra calcium and watch her carefully. If you see other hens bothering her, you may have to either remove her from the pen or remove the main "problem hen" whom is the root of the problem. I wouldn't be surprised if they sort of get a pack mentality and all gang up on her though. Good luck and keep us updated!

Regards,
Leaf
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Brief update, last night Snowball was up on the perch with the rest of the chickens when I closed them up for the evening. I see that as positive progress.
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by SillyRooster View Post

Brief update, last night Snowball was up on the perch with the rest of the chickens when I closed them up for the evening. I see that as positive progress.

Great news! She may very well have been "finding her place" in the pecking order. Glad that she's improving.

Regards,
Leaf
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