hen pecked at but has not problem: molting?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by tymimo, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. tymimo

    tymimo Out Of The Brooder

    95
    7
    43
    Mar 15, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    My Coop
    Today I noticed three of my hens standing around pecking at something. Upon closer inspection I discovered that they were pecking the fourth hen. The "victim", a Wellsummer, was buried halfway in the litter apparently dust bathing and seemed to have no problem with the other three pulling out feathers from her back. They were all hatched in early April so they are (math, math, math) about 8 months old. The feathers seemed to be coming out fairly easily so I'm guessing this is molting? Of course I'm getting ready to leave town for a couple of days and won't be able to monitor the situation. Anything to be concerned about or should I just wait and see? At what point do I need to be concerned?

    TIA,
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I'd make sure they are getting plenty of protein...what are you feeding?
     
  3. tymimo

    tymimo Out Of The Brooder

    95
    7
    43
    Mar 15, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    My Coop
    They get Layer pellets. I believe the brand is Scratch & Peck. I just gave them some meal worms to try to boost their protein. It was just odd that the pecked hen was laying there apparently unphased as she was being pecked by the other three. I just noticed a large bald patch on her leg. No blood or open wounds. Thanks
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    http://www2.ca.uky.edu/smallflocks/Feed_ingredients/Proteins.html
    note peas low in methionine

    http://www.avianweb.com/featherdisorders.html
    sources of methionine on this page, including sun. seeds


    http://www.extension.org/pages/67359/feeding-field-peas-to-poultry#.Un1io_nigfU

    I looked up Scratch and Peck (I feed peas and grains along with other things to my chickens too) and noticed that it has a lot of peas, which is good. However, I think your chickens may benefit from some black oil sunflower seeds as well (a treat since they are expensive). They are 16% protein and I give them to my flock as well.

    Just a thought!
     
  5. tymimo

    tymimo Out Of The Brooder

    95
    7
    43
    Mar 15, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    My Coop
    Thanks. I do give them a handful of seeds/grains every afternoon. The mix includes BOSS, milo, one other grain that I forget (maybe millet?) and cracked corn, although it is mostly BOSS.

    I'm guessing/hoping it's just that she is molting and the other hens are doing her a favor by pulling out the loose feathers. My concern is that I won't be around for a couple days to monitor. My neighbor's kids are feeding the chickens while we're gone and I don't know if they are really ready to handle it if they start drawing blood.
     
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I hope it all goes well. :)
     

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