Hen having trouble with moulting process

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by P & Q Ranch, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. P & Q Ranch

    P & Q Ranch Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Mar 29, 2009
    Davie, Florida
    I have 7 Rhode Island Red hens approximately 1 1/2 years old and one of them is having extreme difficulty with the moulting process. She has lost feathers all over her body, but the new feathers are only little prickly things with a small feather shaft in the middle. She sits in the chicken coop all day unless I force her outside. I have a bowl of water in the chicken coop and have been feeding her adult crumble, Cheerios in the coop, and as of yesterday I started feeding her canned chicken as I read they need more protein at this time. She cries as if she is hurting. What else can I do to help her get her feathers to grow out? I can't afford to take her to a vet. Is this an unusual moulting problem?

    Thank you,
    Shirley
     
  2. Hippie Chicks Mom

    Hippie Chicks Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    159
    4
    101
    Jun 9, 2010
    Near Old Forge NY
    Have you checked her over really well to be sure it's a moult and not another disease process? Mites/lice etc...
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    458
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Some hens really do have a hard time of it, even become pecky towards humans when they were previously lap chickens.

    I'd give her a baby aspirin a couple of times a day and the TLC you are already giving. You're right about protein, it takes extra to grow feathers. I can get canned mackerel right near the tuna on the store shelf, cheaper and they love it.
     
  4. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    My BO is not in as bad of shape as your poor little girl but she has been huddling in the nesting box at night - presumably for warmth, and seems all-around pathetic and a bit traumatized. I worried about her for a few days last week but she seems to be adjusting a bit now. I think all their body's energy goes into the molt and they're completely pooped!
     
  5. sgtmom52

    sgtmom52 Birds & Bees

    I have 9 older girls (2 & 3 year olds) that also molting and miserable right now. They have been spending a lot of time in the coop instead of the run I think due to the colder, windy weather which is harder on them without full feathering and that they now have a 7 month old roo with them and they are trying to avoid his attentions right now. Usually he doesn't bother them, but right now they don't want him around them.

    I have upped their protein levels and hope that their feathers come in soon.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2010

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by