Molting hens are fighting - please help!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Fletch83, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. Fletch83

    Fletch83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know that molting hens can be cranky and irritable, but one of my EE's is taking it to the next level. Both hens have been molting for a couple of weeks now and have porcupine-patches where the new feathers are growing in. It looks painful, and I don't blame them for being grumpy. Yesterday and this morning they were fine, just hanging out and foraging, although they spent most of the day hiding around the yard (ashamed of their scraggly appearance, no doubt). I heard a commotion a couple of hours ago and went outside to see what was going on. My dominant molting EE was chasing after and trying to peck at my other molting EE. She was squacking away and making these "growling" noises. Other EE was just running to get away from her. I separated the hens and put the cranky one in a time-out. Did not see any wounds or anything on the other EE that would have potentially provoked the attack.

    I eventually let the naughty hen out since she was carrying on so much. She hasn't attacked my other hen, but she is sort of pacing around near her and making that growling sound. Has anyone else dealt with this while molting before? They have not once fought in the past, other than squabbling over spots on the roosting bar every now and then. I don't really have the means to keep them separated long-term, I only have one coop and run. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
  2. Fletch83

    Fletch83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bumping for any advice? Thanks!
     
  3. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Maybe try a flock block to keep them busy. Mine get super cranky during their molt too. And, occasionally, fights break out between them. I just let it run its course, and they get back to their normal selves once the feathers have grown in.

    I know that's not much help, but I really don't think there's much you can do other than wait it out.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    If there's no blood, I leave them be. Be sure there are hiding places for the omega hen to get away from the alpha and boost protein in the feed to support needs during the molt. Otherwise, interferring with flock dynamics just prolongs things in my experience.
     
  5. Fletch83

    Fletch83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks guys! I was just feeling so badly about it. I know those pin feathers have to be uncomfortable, and it can't feel good to get attacked on top of that.
     

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