Fake eating


In the Brooder
Jul 30, 2019
I have a 7 year old hen who has been faking eating. she “grazes” all day and is relatively active, but at the end of the day her crop is completely empty while all the others are full. she has also started molting before the others and is getting picked on a lot all of a sudden by the two hens she gets along with well. anyone else have something similar happen? i’m thinking she’s sick but i don’t know with what(she has no mites, normal colored comb, still active)
If she's molting, it's normal for her appetite to fall off. Do you provide a commercial feed in addition to free range "grazing"? Commercial feed fills a crop quickly and obviously where free ranging for bugs fills a crop much more slowly, perhaps allowing for crop contents to move out before a chicken can fill the crop so as you would notice.

The line between sickness and health is behavior. An active chicken is rarely a sick chicken.

Molt affects temperament. It makes a girl cranky sometimes, and this can annoy her pals so they might appear to be picking on her. During molt, I try to see that my chickens get some high grade animal protein a couple times a week.

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