Molt or Injury ?

sloanbychoice

Songster
Dec 29, 2019
490
1,015
176
Wichita, Kansas
So, I’ve got a lady who suddenly looks terrible.
i got home and went to the coop to find her standing inside the coop with no tail feathers.
My first thought was that something terrible had happened. After getting the rest of the flock back inside, I went in to inspect her. She was already up on the top roost, bossing the others around quite sternly. Not sure if she had injuries, I plucked her off carefully and took her to the house and into a cage.
I’m looking her over, and she’s got almost a fourth of her feathers missing, bald spots, and places where shafts are showing weird.
She’s eating and drinking (the light is on), and mostly seems ok. She even put up a struggle when I pulled her from the roost. She acted like it was painful when I carried her.
I see no obvious injuries, and it looks like a hard molt.
But, can this happen literally overnight like that??! I’ve only had one hen go through a hard molt, and I remember it being horrible for her. She looked like death. But not suddenly in one day.

Her comb looks very red and normal.
EE so no wattles. Appetite is strong!!

I would appreciate any experience here.
Thanks!

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Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
Apr 3, 2011
56,617
47,460
1,202
southern Ohio
She looks to be molting by the evidence of pin feathers coming in. Those are indeed very painful for them when handled. Some higher protein feed or treats would be helpful. Some can look like that almost overnight, and they can complete their molts fairly quickly.
 

sloanbychoice

Songster
Dec 29, 2019
490
1,015
176
Wichita, Kansas
She looks to be molting by the evidence of pin feathers coming in. Those are indeed very painful for them when handled. Some higher protein feed or treats would be helpful. Some can look like that almost overnight, and they can complete their molts fairly quickly.
Glad to hear from you!!
Thanks for the reassurance!

It’s so crazy, because just last night, she was fine. I didn’t get a chance to look them over this morning, because I had to leave just before dawn, and it was so cold, they stayed inside when I opened up. (We had a 50° drop in temp in six hours last night.)

Since I have you, what do your feed yours in winter and during molt? My girls have always been on layer feed, but this is the first winter where I don’t have any first years. So if they’re not laying much, should I switch?

I do give extra protein during molt.
 

Judiv

Chirping
Aug 8, 2019
35
32
54
Greenville, SC
Same here! Only 1 of my 4 that has started molting and she looks bad! Same symptoms: moves like she doesn't want to be touched, but eating well. Going to scramble her an egg right now! ❤ (Also EE)
 

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