Hens first molt not acting right?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lostfan1, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. lostfan1

    lostfan1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 27, 2012
    One of my hens is going thru her first molt. We live in Maine and a cold snap is coming. Like below 0 at night and not much higher during the day. We have a crap load of snow already this year. There are 3 hens and 1 timid young rooster. She has lost most of her feathers and isn't acting right. She walks slow careful and sideways? I picked her up she was ok for a min then flipped out got out of my hands instead of flying she flopped out of my hands onto the floor. Just wondering if I should bring her in for a few days till she gets better?:/
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    It's normal for them to be reclusive while molting. The pin feathers coming in are uncomfortable and they don't like being picked up. They will get back to normal when their feathers grow back in.
  3. lostfan1

    lostfan1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 27, 2012
    Thank you for your info! Appreciate the help. I kept her in the coop with the other girls for another day but I had to bring her in last night. She stayed in a corner all day yesterday and last night she wouldn't roost with the girls just sat in the corner so I brought her in fed her gave water. She seemed to be doing better so far. Thanks again:)
  4. chickiegrrl

    chickiegrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2013
    Monticello, MN
    My Australorp just came out of kind of a mini molt. She acted much the same way. She would hide in the corner of the coop, even when I was scattering treats. She did NOT want to be around me at all. Now that her feathers are in, she's back to normal and my RIR and Buff Orp are starting to blow feathers. Sorry, no good advice, but I just wanted to let you know that it seems to be pretty normal for them to not want to be around people or other hens. My 'Lorp would even peck at every hen that came near her. She's usually a sweetheart, but didn't want anyone around her at all. Hope this helps a little!
  5. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Is she eating and pooping normally? If not, you may have a sick hen. But molt is very draining on a chicken's health. They do tend to lose weight, and act touchy and not quite right.

    It's tempting to want to bring them inside where it's warm when they have so few feathers, but it's being exposed to the cold that encourages the feathers to hurry and grow back.

    What I would do is give her plenty of high protein flock grower feed. And you might moisten it with hot water to make it irresistible. As long as she eats, she can stay warm and have nutrients to re-grow the feathers.
  6. lostfan1

    lostfan1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 27, 2012
    Thank you all for your help! I did end up brining her in. She's eating good and drinking good. I hope I don't mess up her molting by brining her in. I will put her back out soon. The weather for the next couple days with wind chill is 10 below. So will prob wait few days.

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