Molting for 5 months or sick?


11 Years
Jun 8, 2009

One of my hens (Wyandott) has been "molting" for a good 5 months now. I have searched and searched to nail this down, but I just can't determine if this is normal. Poor girl is tired. I often times see her poofed up and napping. No parasites and they have all been wormed. She is the only one in the flock of 8 that looks like this. Is this just a really, really, really long molt or something more serious? Look at those scraggly tail feathers! They have all been in various stages of molting and I have been giving them some extra protein (scrambled eggs, tuna, etc.) daily.

The pics below are actually much more flattering than she really looks. (I told her it's just like looking into a "good" mirror):

I was going to check them again for parasites. Other than that, I am at a loss. Any ideas would be most appreciated!


Where is she in the pecking order? Are you sure the other girls are letting her have access to the high-protein foods you're giving them? I have a Wyandotte that FINALLY began laying again after a 3 1/2 month long molt, but hers was so gradual, you wouldn't have really known she was molting unless you looked closely for the pin feathers coming in.
When I supplement molters with high protein "treats" (low sodium tuna, eggs, cat food) I make sure that everyone who needs some gets some. If I just left it out for them to self-feed, I know my hens that are lower on the pecking order wouldn't get their fair share.
Thank you, GardenState38! She is #2. When I give them the treats, she definitely gets some. :) I stand there until everyone has had their share. Now that you mention it though, I don't see her at the feeders much. Any other ideas? She looks absolutely terrible, especially compared to her "twin" sister, whose molt was barely noticeable. I just can't shake the idea that it's something else...
How's her weight? Is she laying? Looking at her in the pictures it almost looks like her feathers have come in weirdly. I don't see many feathers missing. Did you worm her while she was molting?
One thing we are going to try to ensure our poor picked on hen is getting enough food is put in a rain gutter for a trough feeder. I have ice cube trays dedicated to the chickens treats - I put yogurt or cottage cheese in those so they each have their own little feeding section
I picked her up this morning and she has lost a little bit of weight. She felt like a prickly porcupine! It's almost as if her feathers came in with the shafts stripped if that makes sense. No, she has not layed for months. Yes, unfortunately I did worm her while she was molting. Darnit. Do you think that is the problem?

Here's a video from this morning. She never walks any faster than this. Often times she stops, poofs up and stands in one place for a while.

I'm not worried about her being picked on at all. They don't pick on her. I just think she has lost her appetite.
I think this is a serious situation so I posted a thread in the Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures. Don't mean to duplicate, but I am unable to figure out how to delete this thread. Thanks.

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