Some hens molt harder then others. Those that have a hard molt will need extra protien. Feed them scambled or hard boiled eggs. Include the shells with the scrambled eggs. Just crush the shells and mix them in. Sometimes they may need some vitamins. Poli Vi Sol baby vitamins work great. They just need a drop. But try the extra protien first.
molt = weight loss & strange behavior? - Page 2
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I dont want to worry yall but my rooster went into what i thought was a moult he lost alot of weight and stopped crowing. I thought he just wasnt feeling well then he qiut walking i tried to stand him up but i couldnt, he passed away on the 4th... I was heartbroken but i think he got marecks disease. When i started him on medicine it was too late, so just watch out for any paralysis in the wings or legs. If you notcie any i would start them on a st. johns wart solution immediatly... well i hope your babies get better soon!
Yes, last fall, when my one of my hens went into a molt for the first time, I noticed she was huddled up and not participating in her usual way with the others, both at the feeder and in general while she was free-ranging. She started looking thin and I finally checked her crop one night, only to find that it was empty. Panicking, I started hand-feeding her every evening inside our kitchen, some hardcooked egg yolk or other highly nutritious food, trying to make sure she had something in her crop each night. She was VERY finicky, often only eating just a bite or two. I faithfully hand-fed her for a couple months, until finally her usual behavior started coming back, she finished her molt, and returned to normal.
This year when she started a molt, same thing happened. Only, this time, I decided *not* to hand-feed her, instead concentrating on offering good quality feed and treats during the day, and let her do "her thing". She refused the high-protein feed, and instead craved...fruit, specifically wild berries, and secondly, fresh cranberries. She effectively stripped all our landscape and bushes of their wild berries and "fruit". Then I brought out a bag of fresh cranberries and she raced around eating them, while the rest of the flock ate their feed plus seeds, nuts, extra protein and other treats.
Now she's back to her normal appetite, having re-grown her feathers and looking sleek and plump again. A few days ago, another hen started molting: same bizarre appetite loss and she's looking miserable and standing apart from the others. I am watching that girl, carefully, while deciding how, if at all, I will intervene.
Their molt is hard on them -- and on me!
Edited by feathersnuggles - 11/11/10 at 10:50am
I have an 2 year old Australorp that is going through a molt and it's Spring time. She is my only broody hen. She is acting very strangely...it appears she has lost her order in the group and the others completely peck on her. The male won't leave her alone (If you know what I mean) and she runs away the minute I open up the coop door and comes back when it gets dark. When I offer food to her she gulps it all up as if she is starving. Her comb and head looked dry so I offered her some butter and she gobbled it up. She is looking better now that the feathers are coming in.
I also recently had some chicks hatch out. They are almost 2 months old and I've put her in with them to see what happens and she even cowards to them and lets them pick on her. It's pretty sad to see these chickens go through this.