Chaos in the coop - is it too early for moulting?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by WendyA, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. WendyA

    WendyA In the Brooder

    Jul 28, 2014
    Hi all

    I've been meaning to post for a while but kept thinking 'they'll get better soon' then this morning I opened up my coop to find feathers everywhere and the water bowl and perch pushed over - it looked like a chicken bomb had hit!

    A couple of months ago our two one year old hens got lethargic, they both gave a couple of pale and/or soft shelled eggs (or missed a few days in a row - they are hybrids so we get an egg from each most days) and one of them had diarrhoea. We took them to the vets and they gave us antibiotics, which after a couple of weeks seemed to do the trick.

    For the last few weeks the diarrhoea has come back in one of the birds and she's given a few pale and/or soft eggs. Apart from that she looks fine though, she's eating a normal amount and only a few feathers (from both of them) have been appearing. Until today.

    We had wormed them with Marriage Layers Pellets with Flubenvet about a week before the fist bout hit, so to start with we thought it could be a reaction to that. They then had the full course of antibiotics and since we've been using apple cider vinegar and tonics in their water. And they have plenty of grit and with crushed oyster shell.

    We've had warm weather here for the last few weeks (London, UK) but they seem to be coping quite well. We've created shade in the run and they have an endless supply of water. We've seen no signs of bullying, they are both quite amiable and seem to get on well. We've only seen a fox in the garden once and we don't think it comes back to visit at night time. I do sometimes open the coop door after they've gone to bed to check all is well though.

    Does anyone have any ideas on what else could be wrong and we should be trying? The vet didn't seem to be that experienced - you don't get many chickens in our area! Could it be the start of an early moult as they didn't do it last year? Am I causing shock by opening the door after dark?

    Many thanks in advance.

  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    They arnt molting if you found the water bowl and perch pushed over. They are fighting, picking/pecking each other because there isn't enough perch space for them. Also hens that are higher up in the pecking order have their favorite roosting spots and will defend their spot. Sounds like expansion is needed.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  3. familyfarm1

    familyfarm1 Crowing

    Jun 9, 2013
    Northern Virginia
  4. WendyA

    WendyA In the Brooder

    Jul 28, 2014
    Thanks dawg53. There have been no more feather fights in the last week, thankfully. We're still dealing with the slops but I'm putting it down to the warm weather and them drinking lots of water!
  5. Irishhenman

    Irishhenman Songster

    Jul 2, 2013
    Mounting around now would be considered normal here, nothing to be worried about
    1 person likes this.

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