molting and VERY Thin!?!? PICS ADDED

Mr. Frizzles Hen House

11 Years
Oct 9, 2008
Seabeck, Washington
I just got back from a ten day vacation and I'm worried. My chickens were taken well care of by a friend, so I was surprised to see my americana when I got home. All her tail feathers and wing tip feathers are gone. As well as overall neck and body thinning. My first thought was, so this is what a molt looks like. But she is terrably thin. She is a big bird, who had just gotten off the nest from being broddy a few weeks ago. I know she was plump, heavy, and solid from booting her off the nest daily. I usually give daily treats of leftovers and garden scraps. While I was gone, they got lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber treats... but no leftovers such as pasta, yogurt, egg, toast, etc. Do you think she was starving herself because she didn't want to eat the layer feed alone? Is weight loss common with molting? She acted normal when I gave them leftover breakfast treats with eggs this morning. She actually went nuts over them. Any guesses? The rest look normal. I think my cochin is molting too, but her body condition seams the same. They are all about 16 or 17 months now.
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Could you post a pic of her? One of my hens got really skinny when she had her molt last year. She was completely bald except for a few wing feathers. She was acting normal though. She is normal and healthy now aside from getting skinny from a starting molt.
I thought my EE roo was getting thin too but I figured out it was just the molting. She looks like a very healthy EE.
Molting takes a lot out of birdsgrowing new feathers take 6 weeks at least
But the culprit is that she just got off setting eggs.

and then you were gone 1 days with no treats so add it up and figure it is mostly a month off regular activity

with that said she didn't eat just feed crumbles
she is spoiled with all the treats she likes better

If I were you I would feed some cracked corn and grit
as a substitute for getting her fat again

also a daily recipe of wet mash probiotic

for one bird
3 tbsp of dry feed crumbles
4 tbsp of butter milk or any kind of milk
1 tbsp of yoguart
and a 1000 Vit E capsule with the tip cut and squeezed into the wet mash
mix good and end with 1 tbsp of applesauce on top of wet mash

feed this for two weeks once a day
when thy clean it up in 30 minutes clean the wet feeder and restock the dry crumbles

then take out the Vit E and feed daily this wet mash probiotic for rest of the month.

then give the cracked corn and granite grit daily once a day

it will not hurt the birds as it is fall and they need the fat for winter
the rest of the treats feed at another time in the day
so she eats the corn.

also put 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar in gallon of water daily

the bird will get her feathers and gain some weight also

make sure they have the feed crumbles also to keep them going on commercial feed.
any questions email me
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Wow... thanks for the info!
It makes sense, I'm just shocked that she went from being so solid to bone thin so quickly. I guess I need to hit the feed store. I feed them pellets, treats, and occasionally oyster shells. Should I seperate her to feed her or give these supplements to everyone? They have not been laying well since the hot weather this summer. do they lay when they molt?
It will not hurt the hens
the corn is only at night and a treat
do not feed a lot of it as the main ingredient in the chicken feed is corn

the pellets will be okay soaked and they should disolve
you may have to soak them with a little more milk than crumbles you can try them and see
with that said the mixuter of wet mash probiotic will be okay for all of them
How many chickens do you have?
always multiply the recipe by the amount of chickens fed it.

By the way my main breed of poultry was Frizzled Cochins
so am wondering what kind of frizzles do you raise?
Thus my email name

any more questions email me
She'll be fine. Mine all look like disasters when they molt. I had one Americauna that lost soooo many feathers she looked like a porcupine when they started growing back!!!

I've found that right when you think the poor bird can't look any worse, they start looking better.

I kept them on their regular feed. No problems.

Good luck!!
Thanks everyone for your help:)
I have a total of nine. My six buff orps, one americana (was told that, but probably an EE from the posts I've read)( had another but lost that one), and added two black bantam cochin frizzes for fun at the last minute. One didn't frizzle, and the other did but also turned out to be a rooster:)


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