Do molting hens act differently?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Studio2770, Nov 22, 2014.

  1. Studio2770

    Studio2770 Songster

    Apr 29, 2013
    I'm pretty sure out EE is molting. She's over a year old and is losing feathers. I have noticed that she is acting differently. Is this part of molting? I also think she hurt her leg because she stands on one leg. Checked for bumble foot and there's no swelling or scab.
  2. Tamara119

    Tamara119 Songster

    Jul 14, 2012
    Bariloche, Patagonia
    I've had some hens who act pretty much the same while moulting, but most act quite defensively. They lack the protection of their feathers after all, so they avoid the hens that might peck at them. In one case, my hen Molly had a really bad molt, and she even walked funny. She would walk sideways-ish and a bit bent, as if trying to avoid something. At first I thought there was something wrong, maybe even something wrong with a leg, but then when she was more or less alone she wouldn't do it. Once her feathers were coming back in she started walking normally again. If you hen is truly limping then she may have an injury, but standing on one leg may just be that. Watch her closely when she walks, and see if she favours one leg or not. If she's just acting defensively and walking as if veering to one side to protect herself, then it may just be normal for her.
  3. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    The biggest difference in behavior during molt that I notice is the normally friendly hens become standoffish, and if I go to pick them up, a lot of scolding and complaining ensues. They do NOT like to be handled during molt.

    When molt is completed, they revert to their normally cuddly selves.

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