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Depressed Hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by firedancer57, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. firedancer57

    firedancer57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2010
    Lurking in the corner
    I have a 2.5 y/o Barred Rock hen that's our house chicken. She's not been her happy-go-lucky self recently. She is going through a molt so she's not laying, that's not the problem. She gets a good quality feed, crumbles, not pellets she doesn't like them. She has free access to calcium/oyster shells. Fresh water and lots of fruits and veggies. Yes, she gets out side as often as I can get out with her and I spend an hour or two watching her enjoy and explore her yard.

    She weights in at 9lbs, her comb and wattles are normal colour, her poop is normal looking, no worms or diarrhea , her eyes are bright and shiny. She just doesn't seem to be acting right. Normally she loves being held and will fall asleep on your lap. But lately, don't touch her, she'll growl and run.

    Any help in this matter will be greatly appreciated, I'm worried about her and if need be we will take her to the vet.

    Thank you
    Ann
     
  2. Big A Chickens

    Big A Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2012
    Palmetto, Georgia
    It takes a lot of energy to build new feathers during molting. The new feathers can be painful for your bird when they are touched, but the biggest problem during molting is itch. It's likely that she will be a bit irritable and stressed during this period. Birds are a bit itchy and irritated during the molting process, so don't be surprised if your bird seems to be a little moodier than usual. Sometimes aggressive, weak or both. This is normal.

    A high protein diet is more important during this period to help the regrowth of new feathers. Calcium is geared more toward eggshell development. If you have her on a layer feed, try to get one with a least 20% protein. You can also give her treats like yogurt, table scraps, canned tuna, meal worms along with the fruits and veggies.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    She's molting. It's painful and itchy and the're just not as energetic. It also takes a lot of energy to regrow feathers, that's why they stop laying during this time. Leave her be for a few weeks, increase her protein in whatever way you choose and let nature do it's job. She'll be back to herself in a month or so. But don't force her to interact with you during this time, she needs low stress.
     
  4. firedancer57

    firedancer57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2010
    Lurking in the corner
    Thank you for your answers. I guess I really wasn't thinking about the molting process, was just worried about her. She is loved and brings so much joy and laughter to this family.
    Thank you again,
    Ann
     

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