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Hen's losing her feathers & got very aggressive suddenly

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Hhetzeck, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. Hhetzeck

    Hhetzeck New Egg

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    Feb 23, 2014
    Hi- I have had a few batches of chickens over the years, and have always had an easy time with maintaining their health, other than the occasional fox raid. Right now I am down to two chickens, a buff and a Rhode Island Red. The buff is gorgeous- shiny, fluffy, and round with an extremely docile disposition. The red chicken looks terrible. She's lost feathers around the front side of her neck, and now she seems to be losing them in other fairly random-looking spots. She's got a panicky personality, and she doesn't ever relax when we pick her up on occasion. The feather situation has been going on on her neck for about a month, but worsened recently and spread to other parts of her body. All of a sudden this week, the red has become aggressive towards anyone who goes in the run. I'm not shy about letting her know who's boss, but I feel like her sad appearance might be indicating that her health is making her. Extra cranky? Thoughts on what's going on? Because the buff looks so healthy, I don't suspect mites or lice. And because the red is so aggressive, I doubt she's getting bullied by the buff. Thx for your advice!!
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Feb 18, 2011
    Ohio
    Sounds like your red girl may be going into molt? Sometimes they do get pretty cranky, guess they don't feel good when all the new feathers are starting to grow back. Some people like to up the protein they feed when the birds are molting to hopefully help them along. Nice article on molting http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/217/moulting-a-natural-process and if you want to see some scary pictures, BYC does a contest every year on worst looking molt pictures, see if you girl looks like those ... https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...-worst-chicken-molt-pictures-fall-winter-2013
     

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