Is molting as hard on you as it is on your chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by TheSpiceGirls, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

    2,570
    275
    251
    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    I'm really struggling w/ this molting process. I only have two hens. Both are year old and only one is molting. She started about a month ago. It started pretty slowly and I thought perhaps it would be a mini-molt as the other hen is not molting and they are just a year old. The feather shedding slowed about a week ago and then this weekend, well, she's exploding feathers. There are piles of them around their house, their run, etc. And she just looks so sad.

    She no longer lets me pick her up and she used to just run into my open arms. It's kind of an issue because I let them free range for a bit each afternoon and I used to be able to call them back by rattling some seeds in a plastic container. The one who's not molting comes running. I lock her up and then have to try and coax her sister out from a bush. I can usually do this with meal worms but once I try to pick her up, she tries to bolt and squirms and squeals. She obviously doesn't want to be picked up and I feel so bad doing it.

    I've read that all of this is perfectly normal. I've been feeding them both extra meal worms, tuna, scrambled egg, etc.

    Is there anything else I can do for her? Do you have any words of advice for me?

    I read that a molt can take 4 months. OMG. I have three more months of this? I don't think I can take it!
     
  2. OregonChickenGal

    OregonChickenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    984
    0
    109
    Jul 26, 2010
    Central Oregon
    Some of my hens are going through this also. It's hard on them that's for sure. It's does change their personality, depending on the chicken. My one hen gets real scared and flightly. After the molt, she's back to normal. It sounds like you're dong everything you need to do. I give mine some BOSS also. It's getting so expensive, but I still buy it once in awhile. All you can do is hope it's over soon. [​IMG]
     
  3. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

    7,480
    180
    298
    Feb 12, 2009
    Ohio
    I wouldn't try to pick her up, I've heard it is kinda painful as the new feathers are coming in. I also give mine BOSS when molting or if not, because not all of them are molting. I just wish they would start laying eggs again. I only get 1 egg for 2 days none for 2 days and so on. I had to buy some from an Amish neighbor who laughed.
     
  4. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

    2,570
    275
    251
    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    Quote:Thank you. I really just needed to hear I was doing the right thing. And yes, I scatter some BOSS around their run each morning. I even bought some no waste bird seed which is mostly BOSS seeds, just the hulled seed without the shell.

    Where in Central Oregon are you? We just got back from a week in Bend. Had loads of fun. It's beautiful there.
     
  5. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

    2,570
    275
    251
    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    Quote:Yea, I only pick her up when I absolutely have too. Which is when it's time to go back into their secure run after free ranging. And I pick her up as gently as I can and carry her back and set her down. I don't try to pick her up otherwise. I don't want to upset her anymore.

    I SOOOO look forward to this being behind us and have her go back to her old personality. She's such a sweetheart.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by