Hen stopped laying, losing feathers, not eating much...what is wrong?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Brienna, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. Brienna

    Brienna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2014
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    I have a 22 month old hen that seems to be offish since about a week ago. She has stopped laying since a week, and this morning I found a huge pile of her feathers under the roost. I know these are signs of a molt but here's the thing... I have 4 hens total, all the same age, and they all sort of molted last fall during november-december. They were all losing feathers on and off, it seemed like a very slow molt that was barely noticeable. They were around 18 months old so it makes sense that they were molting at the time. None stopped laying completely though, they layed eggs every other day.

    The concern I have with this one hen is also that her crop is never full at night like the others. She has a bit of food inside, but not as much as usual, it's a pretty small crop. She does eat throughout the day and acts pretty normal although she seems more tired than usual sometimes. Also, why would she suddenly start losing so much feathers again at 22 months? In the middle of winter, while is can get pretty cold here in Quebec, Canada..Could the same molt just continue after some time off? I'm concerned about all these things..not eating much, not laying, and suddenly molting again...

    There were no changes in their diets, no changes in lighting, I don't see any stress factor that could provoke this...

    Any input would be greatly appreciated..thank you!
     
  2. CityKidChickens

    CityKidChickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 15, 2016
    There is a high probability that it is just a molt. Keep watching her or show me a pic.
     
  3. Brienna

    Brienna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2014
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    do you think that would also explain the fact that she is not eating much?
     
  4. CityKidChickens

    CityKidChickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 15, 2016
    Yes.
     
  5. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    If you have never wormed your flock, now would probably be a good time to do it. Check every hen for body condition.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
  6. eimearodowd

    eimearodowd Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 21, 2016
    She may have worms, which would explain her not eating. The feather loss is probably just a molt! My Barred Rock hen lost all of her feathers suddenly as well :)
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Have you checked for external parasites?
    Might want to isolate her in a wire cage in the coop for a day or two,
    monitor her food/water intake and poops.
    Take a poop sample to vet for fecal exam.

    What exactly and all are you feeding them?
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
  8. Brienna

    Brienna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2014
    Quebec, Canada
    Thank you all for you replies. We are trying to find a vet to do a fecal exam - we are having such a hard time! No ordinary vet will do it, I called 3 clinics in my area. There's one that I'm waiting on an answer to see if they can do it or not...fingers crossed.
     

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