Molting - Did I cause this???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TheSpiceGirls, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

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    I had to put a pinless peeper on my JG one week ago because she was bullying my BO. I'm down to just the two hens and I have week old peeps in the brooder, but obviously it's going to be several months before I can introduce them and help mix up my flock dynamic.

    Well today, there are JG feathers all over the run. She's obviously molting.

    Did I cause this?
    Is it normal for a hen to begin molting in the middle of December?
    Should I remove the peeper?

    I will say that the peeper has stopped the bullying. But that the JG does seem to be eating less. I always thought she was a porker and a bully to get to food. She always had a HUGE dropping pile under her each morning. And now that pile is about half that size.

    HELP, what do you guys think and what would you do? Leave the peeper on and just let her molt? Remove the peeper and possibly let her go back to bullying the BO?
     
  2. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

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    Someone HAS to have an opinion on this?
     
  3. mommissan

    mommissan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My opinion, no. The shortest day of the year is still coming, so the days are just well, still getting shorter. How old is she? Molts happen in the second year, right?
     
  4. Minniechickmama

    Minniechickmama Senora Pollo Loco

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    Molting is common this time of year, actually a little earlier for most. I have one still going through it but all others are done and have their new shiny feathers back.
    You can try taking off the peeper, but keep an eye on her. I know it is tough with only the two, but chicken jail often works for meanies. Take her out from the coop with the other and isolate her in a cage or something for a couple of days. When she goes back to the coop, it is no longer "her" coop because your other girl has taken over. So, the dynamic may change, but no guarantees.
    Good luck.
     
  5. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks. She's 14 months old. I was hoping she'd skip this year but it appears not.

    And I can't really isolate her as I only have two hens. I did separate her for one night and morning before taking her to the vet to install the peeper. And the two of them were MISERABLE. Even the BO who I thought would be thrilled not to be pecked at. But they were miserable being away from each other. And I wasn't convinced that separating them would reset the pecking order since there are only two of them.

    I have three BO babies in the brooder. But it's going to be months before I can introduce them. So I really want to leave the peepers on the JG for a while longer to get her over her bullying ways. Sounds like there's no way peepers could cause a hen to molt. That this was going to happen with or without peepers. So I'll just have to chill.
     
  6. Minniechickmama

    Minniechickmama Senora Pollo Loco

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    Well, you know, you could get a couple more hens [​IMG]
    There are plenty of folks in your area with birds. Why, Rob (NiftyChicken, big boss on this site) is right there in the Bay area.
     
  7. turtlebird

    turtlebird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think the peeper's caused a molt. I have several hens wearing peepers right now. All but a few will get theirs taken off in a few weeks when integration with newer younger chickens is complete. I suppose that will stir things up a bit, AGAIN. Anyway. JG probably is eating a little less right now for a few different reasons. She probably isn't too happy about her new outlook on life (side look) for starters. Also, she has to figure out how to eat all over, since her vision field has changed. Mine seemed to miss the feed until they figured it out. Also, this might be most important....I had to modify my feeder a little bit b/c the peepers were getting hung up on the dividers. Make sure your hen can reach the feed/water with her new face mask on. Give her a little time to get used to it [​IMG]
     
  8. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Well, after starting this adventure 14 months ago with a mixed flock, I decided that I really like the BO's best. I like the docile hens that don't fight w/ each other. And I wasn't able to find any BO's available. So that's why I picked up the BO chicks when I found a local store that had some. I figure what's an extra month. I mean, I'd have to isolate new girls for a month before I could introduce them to the other girls. Or raise babies for two months and then introduce them so I went the chick route.

    So I'll get there. But I was kind of desperate to deal with the bullying right away. Thus, the peepers.
     
  9. Minniechickmama

    Minniechickmama Senora Pollo Loco

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    I was just egging you on for more chickens is all.
    I hope things go better.
    You know when they moult they kind of go through a withdrawal kind of behavior. i saw it almost all of my girls this fall. I have a Buckeye who is in the throws of molt and it is getting down to 2˚ tonight. Weather page says it already feels like a balmy -3˚. I hope she is snuggled up with her friends close.
    You are doing well with your birds. If she feels alright other than being a little lighter and missing feathers, I wouldn't get too worried. But if she doesn't seem to bounce back in a week or so, I would look her over again and see if I saw or felt something else going on.
     

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