Long molt recovery

hagoesch

Chirping
Mar 11, 2020
86
93
91
Southeastern WI
Evening! Several of the hens in our flock began molting in the weeks surrounding the change from Oct to Nov. They were about 9.5 months old at the time. Most are recovering nicely but Pat, an Easter Egger who also happens to be the lowest hen in the pecking order and is endlessly tormented by the other five hens, does not really seem to have any noticeable change in the loss of her head and neck feathers. There have been a good amount of pin feathers up there for what feels like a solid week or more, but those areas plus her tail and saddle are all still pretty tatty. I switched everyone to an All-Flock 18% feed mid-November and offer a handful of BOSS or some scrambled eggs most days to give extra protein. The issue with her, though, is that even if I try to sneak her some of the higher protein stuff to ensure she has a chance to eat (bullied away from food), the others still come running... and if I try to catch her for fully separated feeding in the coop alone, she is either so skittish from being picked on by the others or out of fear of contact because her pin feathers hurt, that my attempts to nab her are failures. I can't catch a break with her!

Any recommendations to ensure she's getting enough to fully recover from the molt before winter? I added a few more feeding stations when I switched to the All-Flock and I know she's eating, albeit after everyone else, and seems to be drinking enough and has solid poops (very large lately, though doesn't seem broody). Your thoughts are greatly appreciated! CHEERS.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
100,701
143,908
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Any recommendations to ensure she's getting enough to fully recover from the molt before winter? I added a few more feeding stations when I switched to the All-Flock and I know she's eating, albeit after everyone else, and seems to be drinking enough and has solid poops (very large lately, though doesn't seem broody). Your thoughts are greatly appreciated! CHEERS.
Just give her time.
Adding more feeding stations was a good move.
Neck pins sometimes take longer to fluff out because they can't reach them to preen off the sheathing.

Birds that age don't usually have a full molt their first fall/winter, just a partial molt, if at all.

How big is your coop and run, in feet by feet?
Dimensions and pics would help here.
Thinking crowding may be an issue, would be good to resolve it before winter really sets in.
 

hagoesch

Chirping
Mar 11, 2020
86
93
91
Southeastern WI
Thanks, Aart. That makes sense about the head and neck feathers taking longer bc they are not easily accessible to help manually facilitate things.

I snatched a photo from a previous post of our coop -- roughly 16 ft L x 5 ft W x 8 ft H. Two 5-ft long roosting bars (2x4s) and four nesting boxes. The run is a wonky circle enclosed up to the barn with Premier1 electric poultry netting that is 164-ft long. There should be ample room for six hens and one cock, right?

1607038039581.png
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot_20201203-173405.png
    Screenshot_20201203-173405.png
    3.8 MB · Views: 2

hagoesch

Chirping
Mar 11, 2020
86
93
91
Southeastern WI
The feed and water dishes are only outside, yes. Unless it's crazy inclement weather do I put a hanging feeder and a hanging nipple waterer inside for them. Outside there is a little shelter back by the trees made of four stumps and a piece of plywood on top -- they all fit snugly underneath. Up next to the barn there's my new homemade shelter made from scrap wood and two metal window wells (photo below). They weren't keen to go out when snow was falling the other day but it was their first real introduction. I'm hoping next time they might go out if I throw some straw and BOSS down for them. Eventually they'll get used to it?

1607047320670.png
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
100,701
143,908
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Eventually they'll get used to it?
They might. It might depend on how deep it gets.
I shovel part of the run, for both access to doors and to clear roof when needed.
Also sometimes spread a thin layer of straw or shavings or sand(when it gets icy).
Makes thing nice for them to wander around, some won't go in the snow at all, and makes snow melt season much shorter.
Mine only have a 4x8 sheltered part of the run under the coop,
but feed and water is inside.
full
 

hagoesch

Chirping
Mar 11, 2020
86
93
91
Southeastern WI
They might. It might depend on how deep it gets.
I shovel part of the run, for both access to doors and to clear roof when needed.
Also sometimes spread a thin layer of straw or shavings or sand(when it gets icy).
Makes thing nice for them to wander around, some won't go in the snow at all, and makes snow melt season much shorter.
Mine only have a 4x8 sheltered part of the run under the coop,
but feed and water is inside.
full

Good call on the sand. I also plan to shovel a path and small area outside for them once snow piles up. We don't have a covered portion of the run and there's nothing I can rig up with the materials I have on hand for the time being. Hopefully they decide to give this new experience a go, and if not, I'll bring the food and water inside. And probably a kitty litter pan filled with sand and dirt for bathing! Thanks again.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom