Can Molting be dangerous for a chicken?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by FisherMOM, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. FisherMOM

    FisherMOM Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2008
    Bergen, NY
    I am at my wits end trying to figure out what is going on with my little hen.
    Actually, it seems I may be bringing her back to health, but in the mean time, I have some questions.
    First off.. the rest of my birds seem fine.

    She seems to be molting. Not sure when she last laid an egg. It also seems this is when she molted last year as well,
    so I think she is on target if they molt at the same time each year.

    BUT, I found her last Thursday in the coop, very weak, looked starved and barely able to walk or even stand.
    I brought her in the house and checked for mites.. none. That night I gave her some scrambled eggs, antibiotic (forced it with a dropper) as well as wormer that night.
    The next day I threw some AC vinegar in her water that I had to still force her to drink many times a day... along with electrolytes. And more eggs.
    I discovered that she was just pooping the eggs out.. and they were neon green.. so I stopped the eggs and decided to try go with something more digestible.
    I stopped the ACV so that starting Saturday she could have yogurt and spinach.
    She did not want to eat or drink still.. so again, I had to entice her and I used small pieces of wheat bread soaked in water and yogurt.
    At this point, I am feeding her by hand various times a day. At least now she was getting fluids and it seems to have helped.

    oh, and her poo is white and normal green now, but with mucous.. (I mentioned it because I figure someone will ask.)


    By Monday, she finally started eating a little on her own. She still cannot walk and I find her flopped on her side at times where she has tried to move.
    Her eyes look brighter but she has a long way to go.
    Her bottom was poopy (from not being able to move), and she was starting to smell up my house, so I bathed her...
    this is when I got a very good look at all of her new feathers coming in.
    I am wondering if the molt brought this on, or if the starving caused her to loose feathers.
    any ideas?


    (here's Emma and me a couple of winters ago.. I thank that she thought my teeth were bread!)

    [​IMG]
     
  2. FisherMOM

    FisherMOM Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2008
    Bergen, NY
    I guess the answer is no... because no one has replied. She is more alert tonight, and hungry... just weak.
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Not really enough information. When did she lay last? Is her abdomen bloated or rigid? Is her crop normal?

    The molt depletes their systems so that if there is any other problem, it is magnified. Green poop usually means she isn't eating or food is not getting through--the green is caused by bile. They normally will lose some weight during the molt. Give her good protein and some probiotics daily for awhile. When a bird is molting, that is not a good time to worm them, as worming is hard on an already taxed system.
     
  4. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Since you said she was looking starved I'd have to say she was off her feed for some reason which caused the molt.

    Have you treated her for worms? Green watery droppings can be indicative of worms.
     
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Mac, she did say she wormed her.

    BUT, I found her last Thursday in the coop, very weak, looked starved and barely able to walk or even stand.
    I brought her in the house and checked for mites.. none. That night I gave her some scrambled eggs, antibiotic (forced it with a dropper) as well as wormer that night.​
     
  6. FisherMOM

    FisherMOM Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2008
    Bergen, NY
    She is skin, bones and feathers. They have not run out of food, so I am confused by the whole thing. It HAS to be worms.
    Her crop is normal.. I have been feeling to see if it is impacted. hard to say when she last laid an egg because there is another hen with her.
    My guess, though , is about 2 weeks ago. Her bottom looks normal too. She is not swollen anywhere.
    The other hen has quit laying now too. I was assuming molt time.

    I am going to treat them all for worms tomorrow.

    My main question was.. can a molt kill them. has anyone ever heard of such a thing?
     
  7. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2007
    Colorado
    If they are run down and weakened by something else I would think the stress of the moult could certainly be dangerous. Their systems are stressed by the demand for extra nutrients to grow all those lovely new feathers and that could bring up a problem that may have just been lurking in the background. Be careful of worming her now as Speckledhen said, sounds like she could do with being separated for a while so you can keep a close eye on how much she is eating and drinking. She needs low stress environment right now so that she has energy to put into regaining her weight. How old is your bird?

    Edited to say: how many birds is she with? Is she low in the pecking order - I have had birds almost starve to death before I realised that the others were keeping them away from the food...
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  8. Ksane

    Ksane Overrun With Chickens

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    WHAT did you worm her with? She needed to have been wormed with Fenbendazole or Valbazen. Wazine only works for roundworms.
     
  9. FisherMOM

    FisherMOM Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2008
    Bergen, NY
    I don't believe her to be low in the pecking order at all. She is 3 years old and is with 4 other d'Uccles. But I guess if she wasn't feeling well,
    she may have been "bumped down the ladder."

    As for being separated from them.. she has been in the house in a dog crate being totally babied ever since I discovered the issue. (hubby only grumbles a little)
    I have been feeding her by hand. little portions at a time. Yesterday she started eating a little on her own, and today she is trying to walk when
    she sees me bringing food. I have been giving her small pieces of wheat bread soaked in the water that I have cooked the spinach in, along with some plain yogurt.
    (almost looks like a chicken poo mixture!)

    I tried eggs again today, but she didn't want them. I will try again tomorrow.
    I only gave her a small dosage of wormer as she would NOT drink anyhow.

    Sounds like she has worms and the molt put her over the top. I will wait a few weeks before I try to deworm her again.

    thanks!
     
  10. FisherMOM

    FisherMOM Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2008
    Bergen, NY
    Quote:wazine is all that I have. what other kind of worms are there? How do I know it's not round worm? I have never seem worms in poop, and I look all of the time.
     

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