chickens not laying, losing feathers after caregiver didn't give food or water

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jennydunning, Feb 27, 2015.

  1. jennydunning

    jennydunning Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 18, 2011
    So I left my chickens, dog and house in the care of a student who proved irresponsible and uncaring. Boy do I feel badly--for my 13-year-old dog and my poor chickens. I think she gave them scratch daily but may not have fed them their regular feed, plus she let their (heated) water freeze (don't know how long). Not to mention that she didn't shovel the snow away from the door, so that it got iced in and had to be removed until we get a thaw here in Massachusetts.

    But my question is why they are losing feathers when it's certainly not molting time (and 2 of the 5 were hatched last summer so shouldn't molt until next fall; the others had already molted last fall/early winter). I'm guessing this is a stress reaction. One seems to be laying, every 2-3 days (I was getting 3-4 every day before I left).

    Just hoping someone can tell me what to expect for the near future. Been back 5 days and this is the situation so far.

    Thanks.
     
  2. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 30, 2007
    emmet MI
    Sounds like stress molt. Give them some electrolytes to help rehydrate and some high protien snacks like meal worms. Make sure calcium is available for the bird who is laying and any more who might. Everything that happened surely explains why they stopped laying! Too bad that person couldn't be trusted, how disappointed and guilty you must feel. Don't beat yourself up too bad, you tried to trust/help/pay a kid. I hope all of your animals recover well now that they are back in your care. [​IMG]
     
  3. jennydunning

    jennydunning Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 18, 2011
    Thanks. I'll look into the meal worms and electrolytes. Have been giving them extra kitchen scraps, yougurt, kale, etc.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015

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