Molting (?) hen sleeping apart from other chickens in the flock?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Annie44, Oct 8, 2014.

  1. Annie44

    Annie44 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 12, 2013
    Massachusetts
    Hello human friends of chickens! I am concerned for the well-being of my dear little EE hen, Paulie. She has been missing almost all of the feathers on her neck for quite some time now, this started in March of spring 2014. However, I thought it was a normal occurrence, like people balding, because she seemed healthy in every other respect and was near the top of the pecking order.

    BUT, now with molting season arriving, she has lost all her tail feathers, and is loosing many other feathers as well. While the other chickens look like they are only loosing one or two feathers, and are huddled on the roost like they have always been, Paulie is sitting far away from them on the other end of the roost. Usually she is cuddled in with the rest like normal. Being the chicken n00b that I am, I'm worried! [​IMG]

    Is it normal for a chicken to lose her neck feathers around March? Also, is it OK for Paulie to be sleep apart from the rest of the flock? Is there anything I can do to help her through this stressful time in her young life?

    Thank you everyone! May your chickens forever be very very happy,
    Annie
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Do you have a rooster? They can remove some neck feathers when they mount.
    You might have a feather picker. Can you post a pic of the featherless neck?

    Molting, growing new feathers, can be uncomfortable and a bird might isolate a bit because it doesn't feel the greatest. Making sure they have plenty of protein, animal protein, is a good way to help them regrow their feathers.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2014
  3. Annie44

    Annie44 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 12, 2013
    Massachusetts
    We do not have a rooster. And I'm fairly certain another chicken hasn't been pickin' on her---she seems to be ruling the roost! Until now at least.

    That's good to hear that it may only be molting. I was wondering if she had mites or something, I don't know the symptoms of those as we've never had a problem with them. We're vegans at my house so it will be hard to find animal protein around! Can other proteins, such and beans, be used to supplement the chickens' diet?

    Thank you so much for helping out!
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Chickens are omnivores, they will be healthier if they have some animal protein and fats....other than the bugs they might already be eating.
     

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