during molt, do they self-separate?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rojororeo, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. rojororeo

    rojororeo Songster

    May 14, 2013
    Okay, so I am new to chickens...
    Have eight 7-8ish month olds, no issues there.
    Also have five fully adult hens, about 2-3 years old, I was told.
    This morning I noted lots of feathers in the coop, all from the same bird. As the day has progressed, she has been losing more. She is naked necked all around, her chest/lower neck front area is bald now also.
    I assume she is molting, and the other adults will follow?

    My question is this: do they kind of separate themselves when the molt? She is the bottom of the group it seems like, and always gets a bit pushed around anyhow. I brought them some softened cat food, to add protein for the current and coming molts... it was really more meant for her. I tried, but she got pushed off, wouldn't get any then.
    Same with the mealworms.
    She is kinda hanging out near the feed bowl, chowing down on that. So one assumes not sick, as she is definitely eating.

    I did do a search, but couldn't find anything, and just want to be sure...
    I hope I shouldn't worry about her.... But thought I would just check and see if others have had self-separating/depressed chickens during a molt?
    She is always kinda an on the fringe, spook easy chicken anyway... so maybe it is just more severe right now because it bothers her...?
    Okay enough rambling... :)
    Thanks in advance for the help, and maybe this will make is so that a future searcher can find info regarding molts and separation behavior. :)
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    When in heavy molt an increase in protein above that used to support laying or at least maintenance is good. Generally, behavioral changes are hard to not with confined birds but my free-range birds tend to restrict their activities to areas around cover. For those birds that fly, loss of tail feathers and some of the wing feathers reduces capacity for flight.
  3. rojororeo

    rojororeo Songster

    May 14, 2013
    They aren't fully confined. They are in a 50ish ft by 50ish ft fenced pen. Not free range, but a heck of a lot better than a tiny run. :)
    And the food does happen to be under cover as well.
    And I am giving higher protein goodies as well. I might go get them some meat bird food for a month or so, as I have seen others do, once everyone gets into the molt.

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