Bullying or molting?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Hunt4lif3, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. Hunt4lif3

    Hunt4lif3 New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Jan 5, 2014
    I have 4 RIR hens that are all just about a year old now. When I first got them they all seemed to be laying. About 2 months ago the laying stopped completely. There were quite a few feathers in the coop and I just assumed they were molting. I never really noticed any bald spots on any of them except for 1. 2 of my hens are back to laying and only 1 of them still looks kinda rough. The rough looking one is missing feathers on her head and neck, but pin feathers are coming in in the bald spots. I noticed that the end of her wing feathers are all broken, is this a sign of bullying or just part of the molt. I have seen the other girls pick on her and she stays away from the rest of them most of the time as well. I wish I could figure this out, any ideas?
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

    32,123
    5,069
    601
    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Generally with molting, there are pin feathers all over the body. Not just one tiny area. So look them over really good. If you see other areas of the body that have lots of pin feathers, then it is molting. If it is only a few small spots with only a few pin feathers and there are a LOT of broken feathers around the pin feathers, I might be bullying. :)
     
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

    32,123
    5,069
    601
    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Oh, and welcome to BYC!
     
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I would GUESS she's just molting, since you're seeing pin feathers coming in. I know some of my birds old feathers are easily broken off by the time molting season rolls around each year. If her comb doesn't have pecked places on it, then I'd say just molting. I hope that's the case...
     
  5. Hunt4lif3

    Hunt4lif3 New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Jan 5, 2014
    Ok, I'll look her over really good tomorrow afternoon and try to get some pictures of what I'm talking about. Thanks for the responses so far!
     
  6. Hunt4lif3

    Hunt4lif3 New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Jan 5, 2014
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Here are a few pictures of her. I forgot to check the rest of her body for pin feathers, but I thunk the broken feathers in her wings are from being clipped. It's all the primaries except for the last 2 on each wing. I hope the pictures show enough for y'all to see what's going on.
     
  7. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

    32,123
    5,069
    601
    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Yes, that is molting. :) The pin feathers coming in, the pale, whitish comb....all signs of molting. :)
     
  8. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    39,740
    1,250
    516
    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Yep, that's molting.
     
  9. Hunt4lif3

    Hunt4lif3 New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Jan 5, 2014
    Well that makes me feel a lot better. I was worried that she was being bullied because she kind of stays away from the others and is looking pretty rough. But if she's just molting, then I guess there's nothing I can do about it. Thanks again for the replies!
     
  10. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    39,740
    1,250
    516
    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    You can give her high protein treats to help her grow in her new feathers. It's normal for them to be a bit reclusive while molting.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by