Molting and loss of appetite

GRB73

Songster
6 Years
Mar 10, 2016
211
210
161
SE Pennsylvania
Is loss of appetite common when chickens molt? My three hens (2.5 years old) are all in different degrees of molt. Over the past two weeks their appetites have reduced. They aren't even tempted by their favorite foods--mealworms and scrambled eggs. I also noticed their poo has become watery. Other than these two symptoms, they seem fine. Very active, no discharge from nose or eyes. Empty crops in the morning.

I don't like to casually dismiss my girls' off behaviors, so I'm curious if others have had a similar experience with their hens at molting time?

Thanks
 

SW31

Songster
Jan 24, 2018
236
269
153
SW France, not far from Toulouse
Yep, it’s very similar to what we’re seeing here as well - looks like it’s side effects of moulting process. We’re also seeing lighter, droopier, combs which another member of the forum raised as another normal sign. I think I’m starting to worry a lot less now!
 

GRB73

Songster
6 Years
Mar 10, 2016
211
210
161
SE Pennsylvania
My girls free range about 2 hours a day and I know they are still getting a good supply of bugs/worms/kale from the garden. Still, the chicken feed has not gone down much. Certainly not like during recent months.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
104,567
157,507
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
When not laying they will eat much less,
and if they aren't feeling well due to molt, they will eat less.
Any isolating should only last a few days, after that their appetites should pick back up.
What feed are you providing...is it fresh and dry?
Watery poops could be from eating more vegetation and maybe more water.
 

jreardon1918

Crowing
6 Years
Jul 13, 2016
985
1,979
296
Southeast, MA
My Coop
My Coop
My 7 hens are also molting. We normally go through a bag of feed in one month. The current bag is going to last two extra weeks. They are looking a bit ragged. Laying very few eggs. Otherwise they seem ok.
 

GRB73

Songster
6 Years
Mar 10, 2016
211
210
161
SE Pennsylvania
When not laying they will eat much less,
and if they aren't feeling well due to molt, they will eat less.
Any isolating should only last a few days, after that their appetites should pick back up.
What feed are you providing...is it fresh and dry?
Watery poops could be from eating more vegetation and maybe more water.
 

New2COchicks

Chirping
May 6, 2020
108
78
93
My chickens are molting and eating maybe 25% of normal. I hate it. One is almost all bald ( she was broody before this). I just hate this. I want them to eat. No eggs for over a week. I’ve upped protein but they don’t eat much anyways. Feathers everywhere. I did not know this about chicken keeping. I thought I’d get eggs all year. Is this every year? Too stressful
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
104,567
157,507
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
My chickens are molting and eating maybe 25% of normal. I hate it. One is almost all bald ( she was broody before this). I just hate this. I want them to eat. No eggs for over a week. I’ve upped protein but they don’t eat much anyways. Feathers everywhere. I did not know this about chicken keeping. I thought I’d get eggs all year. Is this every year? Too stressful
Pretty much, yes.

How old are your birds, in months?
What all and how exactly are you feeding?

I use a 20% all flock all year around....with oyster shell on the side for the ones still laying.
 

jreardon1918

Crowing
6 Years
Jul 13, 2016
985
1,979
296
Southeast, MA
My Coop
My Coop
My chickens are molting and eating maybe 25% of normal. I hate it. One is almost all bald ( she was broody before this). I just hate this. I want them to eat. No eggs for over a week. I’ve upped protein but they don’t eat much anyways. Feathers everywhere. I did not know this about chicken keeping. I thought I’d get eggs all year. Is this every year? Too stressful
They should do just fine. Our four hens are just finishing the Fall molt. Only one is laying. One still looks pretty sad. But when the feathers fill in, she will look great with those nice new feathers.
 

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