A few questions about molting

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MsChickenMomma, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

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    Hello all!

    I have a few questions about my hen. She is almost 8 months old, and she just started her first molt. She lives in the house with me due to some things that have happened to her.

    About two weeks ago she was attacked by our dog, ( :( ) she hasn't been eating much, and she has lost a bit of weight. At first we thought she wasn't interested in eating because of what happened, but over the last three days I realized that she is actually molting. Maybe the stress of what happened pushed her into an early molt?

    My question is, since she hasn't been eating and she is losing weight pretty quickly, we have been tube feeding her about 105cc of food twice per day. I want to make sure that doing this isn't doing her wrong. I know that chickens have to eat in order to grow their new feathers, but like my outdoor girls, she isn't at all interested in food. So should I continue to tube feed her, or should I just let her be?

    I really don't want her to lose a bunch of weight, because she is already tiny for a Buff Orpington, but I also don't want to make her eat if she really doesn't want too.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Sorry about your girl, stress like a dog attack etc can throw a chicken into molt.
    How badly and where was she injured by the dog attack?
    Where are you keeping her inside, what sort of light etc?
    What are you tube feeding her? Did you mean 15cc twice a day?
    Are you weighing her?
    Your outdoor girls aren't interested in food either?
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  3. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

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    She just had a few scuffs and scratches, and a bit of a concussion.

    When she is not being supervised she has a little coop in my room that's safe from the cats, dog, etc. She has natural lighting from morning until sundown, and then she roams the house in lamp light for about 2 hours until she goes to bed.

    I tube feed her laying feed that I grind in a clean coffee grinder and mix it with water. She really does get 105cc per feeding. One feeding at about 8:00am and the other at 8:00pm. She gets three 35cc syringes each feeding. That was what someone recommended to me a few months ago when she had an accident that caused her to lose her tongue.

    The last time I weighed her was about two weeks ago, and she weighed 4 lbs 12 oz and that was before she started losing weight. I'm not sure exactly how much she has lost, but she feels lighter and skinnier than she was.

    My outdoor girls are all eating fine. It was just my two that are molting that I am referring to. They both lost interest in food for about the first two-three weeks of their molt. Now they are eating like normal again. But they are both considerably lighter and smaller than they were before the molt.
     
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Poor girl, I didn't realize it was that chicken. Does she eat anything on her own at all now? What about grit? Are you weighing her feed dry before you add water to come up with the amount you are feeding? You might consider spreading her feedings out a little more, or adding a third feeding if you are trying to put weight on her. A higher protein feed might be another option. Ya, molting is a lot of work for chickens, they can lose condition.
     
  5. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

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    She learned how to eat layer pellets on her own. I tried giving her grit, but it kept getting stuck around her wind pipe and would make her raspy for days after each time she ate it. I haven't been weighing her feed, but I have been measuring it if that help. I have been giving her three slightly rounded tablespoons of ground food mixed into 90cc of water until it gets to the right consistency to go through the tube easily.

    The amount of food that I have been giving her doesn't seem to be too much, because at each feeding her crop is already almost empty. I just wondered if it is okay to force feed her even though she isn't interested in food. I think it should be okay. She sure does hate being tube fed though.
     

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