Is "fluffed upnormal during a hard molt ?

Mar 26, 2020
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Hi all,

My silver-laced wyandotte is the last of my girls to molt, and the one having the toughest time. I think she had a hard molt as it looked like a massacre happened in the coop just the other day. Now the poor thing has a bare bottom, no tail feathers to shake, and she leaves a trail of feathers everywhere she goes. She is eating, pottying regularly, and mostly foraging with the other girls. But, she is a little "off" from her normal behavior. She is slow to come out of the coop in the mornings. And while she'll run around with the other hens for part of their free-ranging time, she will also spend part of that time by herself hanging out with her feathers fluffed up. I know this can be a sign of sickness, but would it also be normal with the molt?

Just before the molt I she started limping. i was able to pull a plug out of her foot, but am pretty sure there is still infection in there. But her foot isn't bothering her anymore, and I'm not in a rush to mess with her anymore than I have to since she is having a tough time and doesn't take well to being handled.

Here are some pictures of her 4 days ago. She no longer has a tail. [Edit- I just realized her butt is also my profile pic because it's the fluffiest. I miss my fluffy butt with her pretty striped panatloons.] :barnie
 

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Mar 26, 2020
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'Fluffed up' is an attempt to conserve body heat, and as such it may be a result of the molt. Just keep an eye on her and make sure she is eating adequately.
Thank you. That's what I was thinking, but didn't want to overlook a big warning sign. Thanks for responding!
 

MissE

Crowing
Oct 17, 2020
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Maybe give her some plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese now and then, or even an egg, just so she gets some extra fat and protein so she can stay warm and grow her feathers back sooner. A little cracked corn will help her generate heat too, but just as a small treat. You don't want her to fill up on that since its low protien.
 
Mar 26, 2020
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Maybe give her some plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese now and then, or even an egg, just so she gets some extra fat and protein so she can stay warm and grow her feathers back sooner. A little cracked corn will help her generate heat too, but just as a small treat. You don't want her to fill up on that since its low protien.
I have been rotating through Greek Yogurt, mealworms, eggs, and high-protein table scraps. And since we have a construction project going on, I've been salvaging the grubs and worms that are getting dug up in the yard and saving those for her. Poor girl is still losing feathers, and still looking a little miserable, but her arse-end is now covered in little pin feathers, so I think thiat's a good sign that they're staring to come in!
 
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Mar 26, 2020
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Normal for a molting bird to be a bit lethargic and to isolate a bit too.
As long as she's eating/drinking/pooping/moving around OK, I'd not worry.

What all and how exactly are you feeding?
Some extra protein can be good during molting time.
I'm in the process of transitioning from Layer formula to All Flock, so they're currently eating a 50/50 mix of the two formulas. They have egg shells, oyster shells, & grit. They get treats 2-
3x a day and I generaully rotate through scratch, mealworms, oatmeal, eggs, Greek Yogurt, suet-treats, and meat and veggie table scraps. For the past 2 weeks I've done a push on protein- eggs, yogurt, meat, mealworms. Since she's not very high on the pecking order, I make sure to hand feed her some of the high-protein snacks so I know she's getting them.
 

aart

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Mar 26, 2020
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Too many treats, IMO.


20% protein?
I'd just put a feeder full of only that out.
They have full time access to their feed. I'm mixing it at the moment because I recently made the switch, and I don't want to toss out the remaining layer formula that I have. They will eventually be on All Flock only. Do you think it would help her to just do All Flock during the molt since the protein is higher?

I feed approximately a cup of treats each time, for 5 hens. So in one day they might get a cup of eggs, a cup of scratch, and a cup of fruits/veggies. Then the next day they would get different treats. They eat it all right away, and they also eat their feed throughout the day. Does that still sound like too much for the treats? I don't want them to fill up on treats but I guess I was thinking it was okay to feed them frequently since it's mostly nutrious "treats."
 

MissE

Crowing
Oct 17, 2020
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Northern MN
They have full time access to their feed. I'm mixing it at the moment because I recently made the switch, and I don't want to toss out the remaining layer formula that I have. They will eventually be on All Flock only. Do you think it would help her to just do All Flock during the molt since the protein is higher?

I feed approximately a cup of treats each time, for 5 hens. So in one day they might get a cup of eggs, a cup of scratch, and a cup of fruits/veggies. Then the next day they would get different treats. They eat it all right away, and they also eat their feed throughout the day. Does that still sound like too much for the treats? I don't want them to fill up on treats but I guess I was thinking it was okay to feed them frequently since it's mostly nutrious "treats."
My flock of now 18 gets, at best, one cup of scratch per day, if they don't get other treats. With fruit or veggies, it varied based on what I have. Sometimes it's the seed and rind from a melon or squash. Sometimes it's a whole cabbage, or maybe just some carrot ends and peels. It never amounts to much. In the summer they may get the tomatoes and cucumbers the chipmunks nibble on. They even go a few days without treats. I only give scratch when it's going to be in the single digits or colder, and unless its really hot in the summer and I freeze fruit just for them, their treats consist of what would have otherwise gone in the compost.
 

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