Can chickens molt due to post-illness stress?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Aimless Farmer, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. Aimless Farmer

    Aimless Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 25, 2007
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    I've had one of my hens in the house for about a month due to an impacted crop. She almost died, was down to skin and bones, but her crop is has been clearing regularly and I've been offering her regular layer pellets for about a week now, but rationed (1/8 cup, several times a day), because she gobbles without end, and I'm afraid of her blocking up again. She's ravenous. I still offer her cooked oatmeal mixed with Laxatone (hairball remedy), brussel sprouts, apple and soggy/soaked fish-based dog food kibble. She has water with ACV and vitamines/electrolytes. This hen molted HARD in October, was all pitiful hedgehoggy looking. Yesterday, she started blowing feathers in her crate like she's molting again. Now, I remember shedding my hair after a long, life-threatening illness as a teeneager. I was on the road to recovery, just well enough to go back to school 1/2 days, and then the handfuls of hair started falling out. My doctor said it was a post-stress reaction, that my body was putting all its resources to healing my body, and not putting nutrients toward maintaining my hair. Well, as a 16 year old girl, it was just a cruel joke! I'm wondering if this is the case with my Frigga. Anyone have this experience? I can't call the chicken vet until tomorrow.
     
  2. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, they can molt in response to stress, and also due to starvation.
     
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Forced molts, which are used in big production facilities, are brought on by starving their birds. If your bird lost up to 35% of her body weight she will go into a molt. Time to trade the layer pellets for a grower formula. She will need the extra protein.

    Good luck with her.
     
  4. Aimless Farmer

    Aimless Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, the starvation certainly makes sense. I don't think I can get grower rations now around here. I'm going to up her servings of the fish-based dog food I'm offering her. I'm afraid she can't free-feed pellets right now, as she is so ravenous she won't stop.
     
  5. SkyeBleu

    SkyeBleu Out Of The Brooder

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    I just lost a Silver Laced Wyd. yesterday. She was less than a yr. old, had gone into a hard molt, looked like she had blown up with feathers all over. She's been this way for months, and then she got thinner and thinner. I kept trying to get her to eat but most of the time she'd just stand there. Her keel was very thin when she died. I've never figured out why some of them die this way, nor have I been successful saving any when they get this way. I use Layena pellets, Purina scratch, DE, ACV, clean house, etc. once a month etc. I think sometimes some are just healthier than others. I hope your chicken recovers.
    Skye
     

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