Molting, less pooping?

oakhavenmama

Songster
5 Years
Feb 14, 2017
132
220
161
Lewisville, Texas
My seven month old Barnevelder hen appears to be molting for the third time in her life! We are in North Texas, the weather is cooling down, and I guess molting is fairly normal. She was broody before and during my vacation, and when I got home a week and a half ago, she had stopped laying.

Anyway, she is rather aloof to begin with, the other hens pick on her a lot, and now she is acting even a little more passive. Her comb has gotten paler, but the weird thing I've noticed, is there is very little to no poop under her roost (she roosts on one side of the hen house by herself). This has been going on for several days, I keep waiting to see if it will resolve. Finally, I decided to ask you all. Is less poop something that I need to be worried about, and if so, what do I do about it?

Thanks and I hope you are having a nice fall whereever you are!
 

Birdsong 82

Crowing
Aug 17, 2017
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If she is eating less that could be one cause for less poop. If she is being more passive is she eating with the others? It is surprising this is her third molt. Mine don’t molt until late fall after a year old. And only once a year since. Are you sure she’s molting? Pale comb can come with molting but the way you explain her behavior. It maybe something more. How is her appetite .... eating and drinking? and when did she last lay?
 

oakhavenmama

Songster
5 Years
Feb 14, 2017
132
220
161
Lewisville, Texas
Thank you Rachel for replying! I thought it strange that she is molting again too. She's definitely losing feathers all over the place. Her appetite seems OK, she might not be eating as much as usual. I will check her in the morning for mites and lice. She last laid about September 28-29, somewhere in there, right after broody behavior for several days. I was on vacation so don't know exactly. The house/chicken sitter didn't like taking her off the nest to put her in the coop at night so she wouldn't let her get on the nest. I wondered if that could have made her not lay. Leaving chickens with someone else is a tough call.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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SW Michigan
My Coop
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Broody birds don't lay, and they often molt after being broody.
Not common for a bird that young, but not unheard of either.
The other molts were juvenile molts, they have 2 or 3 before 6 months of age and onset of lay. Molting birds often 'don't feel well'..... may isolate themselves and not eat much.

If she doesn't perk back up with a few days I'd isolate bird in a wire cage within the coop for a day or two(at least at night)....so you can closely monitor their intake of food and water, crop function(checking at night and in morning before providing more feed), and their poops. Feel their abdomen, from below vent to between legs, for squishy or hard swelling.

Best to put crate right in coop or run so bird is still 'with' the flock.
I like to use a fold-able wire dog crate (24"L x 18"W x 21"H) with smaller mesh(1x2) on bottom of crate under tray.
Then you can put tray underneath crate to better observe droppings without it being stepped in. If smaller mesh is carefully installed, tray can still be used inside crate
 

Birdsong 82

Crowing
Aug 17, 2017
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Virginia
Wow. Never seen juvenile molt. Guess different breeds in different climates will display things different. I would give her a good check over everywhere and keep an eye. Like @aart said isolating is the best way to monitor if she doesn’t snap out of it
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
104,024
155,683
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Never seen juvenile molt
Juvenile molts are the ones they have as they grow from chickhood.
From the first set of feathers you see in the first 6 weeks that push the down out,
then one or two more before onset of lay(I seriously don't know if they grow 2 or 3 sets of feathers in this time)<scratcheshead>
Then the first full adult molt at about 18 months.
But sometimes a bird between ~7-12 months will have a partial molt their first fall/winter.
 

oakhavenmama

Songster
5 Years
Feb 14, 2017
132
220
161
Lewisville, Texas
Broody birds don't lay, and they often molt after being broody.
Not common for a bird that young, but not unheard of either.
The other molts were juvenile molts, they have 2 or 3 before 6 months of age and onset of lay. Molting birds often 'don't feel well'..... may isolate themselves and not eat much.

If she doesn't perk back up with a few days I'd isolate bird in a wire cage within the coop for a day or two(at least at night)....so you can closely monitor their intake of food and water, crop function(checking at night and in morning before providing more feed), and their poops. Feel their abdomen, from below vent to between legs, for squishy or hard swelling.

Best to put crate right in coop or run so bird is still 'with' the flock.
I like to use a fold-able wire dog crate (24"L x 18"W x 21"H) with smaller mesh(1x2) on bottom of crate under tray.
Then you can put tray underneath crate to better observe droppings without it being stepped in. If smaller mesh is carefully installed, tray can still be used inside crate

Keeping a good eye on her and will implement your suggestions if she stays the same. I saw her poop a couple of times today, so maybe things are moving along. Thank you again for sharing your expertise and knowledge.
 

Birdsong 82

Crowing
Aug 17, 2017
3,630
6,295
442
Virginia
My MIL had one that was bullied by others and could only eat after the other were distracted. She was having same type of problems. Having her isolated helps because you can tell her exact amount of food and water she gets Incase it’s some but not enough and the exact amount and what the dropping look like. But That’s if she’s getting worse. I’m glad she’s pooping more and things are moving. How is she acting? Posting pics always helps the community figure out any issues.
 

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~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~
Aug 18, 2017
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Caliente Nevada
Okay I’ve never heard of a 7 month old chicks molt. Let alone 3 times.
Malnutrition? Parasites?
They poop less when they eat less.
Broody? I’m thinking while you thought she was broody (not laying eggs) she was in the box because she was ill.
How’s her crop feel?
Does it empty at night?
Have you checked that?
It’s not justa rub it with your fingers kind of thing.
Isolate her monitor her intake of food and water and her crop. Best wishes
 

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