molting or sickness?

specklesmom

Songster
11 Years
Jun 18, 2009
655
39
203
Texas
My Barred Rock hen has molted with no problems in the past. This time seems much worse. She is hunched over and I'm worried that she is actually ill. She has eaten scrambled eggs I've hand fed her, she seems to have food in her crop and I've seen a normal poop, but her posture and general behavior has me concerned that she has something else going on. We will be getting higher protein food for the entire flock tomorrow. The other 4 hens are going through molt and seem to be doing alright. This hen is two years older than 3 of our 5 BRs. Any ideas or thoughts would be appreciated!
 

micstrachan

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Premium Feather Member
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Apr 10, 2016
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I would give her a day or two before worrying too much. Some of mine are taking their molts really hard this year. However, I have also dealt with two health issues this year that seemed to precipitate onset of molt. An animal protein treat, along with poultry vitamins in the water, can help through times of stress.
 

specklesmom

Songster
11 Years
Jun 18, 2009
655
39
203
Texas
Can you post a picture?
I'll try to post a picture in the morning. I kept her inside until late afternoon since the temperature dropped almost 30 degrees in the last 24 hours. When I put her out with the flock she still seemed very listless and just crouched under a chair against the fence. I went out later and she had gone to roost with the rest of the girls. I hate to keep her away from the group and just hope she'll be better tomorrow.
 

specklesmom

Songster
11 Years
Jun 18, 2009
655
39
203
Texas
I would give her a day or two before worrying too much. Some of mine are taking their molts really hard this year. However, I have also dealt with two health issues this year that seemed to precipitate onset of molt. An animal protein treat, along with poultry vitamins in the water, can help through times of stress.
 

Wyorp Rock

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Sep 20, 2015
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My Barred Rock hen has molted with no problems in the past. This time seems much worse. She is hunched over and I'm worried that she is actually ill. She has eaten scrambled eggs I've hand fed her, she seems to have food in her crop and I've seen a normal poop, but her posture and general behavior has me concerned that she has something else going on. We will be getting higher protein food for the entire flock tomorrow. The other 4 hens are going through molt and seem to be doing alright. This hen is two years older than 3 of our 5 BRs. Any ideas or thoughts would be appreciated!
How is she doing?
Molting can be very hard on some hens and they seem to act vulnerable during this time too.
I would get some poultry vitamins into her - look for one that has B-Vitamins as well - like Poultry Cell, careful how you handle her since that can be painful for them during molt.
It's not uncommon for a hen to isolate herself from the others during molting, but you still need to watch to see if she is eating/drinking. Sometimes they will not go to roost with a full crop, but you want to check to see if it's empty by morning.

Hopefully she will be back in shape in no time. I have one BR that has acted similar to your description every time she molts, she's really so pitiful. I just watch her, give a little TLC and wait. She's finally done molting and laid a beautiful large egg today - go girl!
 

specklesmom

Songster
11 Years
Jun 18, 2009
655
39
203
Texas
She still looks pitiful. I was able to get her to eat around 1/2 cup of moistened "Flock Raiser" crumbles which my husband was told at the store would be good for chickens in molt. It has 20% protein. She is still hunched over most of the time, but I've gotten her out of the carrier/crate we put her in this morning. It is sunny and warmer today. Her poop is like water today and her comb and face are still very pale. The feed is supposed to have vitamins and my husband put an antibiotic in her water. She spent the night with the flock in their coop, but didn't come outside when my husband went to check on her this morning. He brought her inside and I tried to hand feed her, then we let her just rest in the carrier. I've had her outside in a sunny area this afternoon. When I was with her an hour or so ago she walked over to the gate to the chicken pen. I put her inside and stood just inside the gate. She just stayed crunched over and almost at once one of the two chicks on the lowest pecking order came over and tried to peck her in the face. I have her outside in a small wire pen which is in the sun. I'll try to post a photo.
1574304-831883e84fb197df53a562b273d84bef.jpg
1574307-4db80556c3b60964f9d79c7a63d1e6a2.jpg
 

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specklesmom

Songster
11 Years
Jun 18, 2009
655
39
203
Texas
She still looks pitiful. I was able to get her to eat around 1/2 cup of moistened "Flock Raiser" crumbles which my husband was told at the store would be good for chickens in molt. It has 20% protein. She is still hunched over most of the time, but I've gotten her out of the carrier/crate we put her in this morning. It is sunny and warmer today. Her poop is like water today and her comb and face are still very pale. The feed is supposed to have vitamins and my husband put an antibiotic in her water. She spent the night with the flock in their coop, but didn't come outside when my husband went to check on her this morning. He brought her inside and I tried to hand feed her, then we let her just rest in the carrier. I've had her outside in a sunny area this afternoon. When I was with her an hour or so ago she walked over to the gate to the chicken pen. I put her inside and stood just inside the gate. She just stayed crunched over and almost at once one of the two chicks on the lowest pecking order came over and tried to peck her in the face. I have her outside in a small wire pen which is in the sun. I'll try to post a photo.
1574304-831883e84fb197df53a562b273d84bef.jpg
1574307-4db80556c3b60964f9d79c7a63d1e6a2.jpg
 

Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
36,716
51,648
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Southern N.C. Mountains
Poor Girl :hugs

Flock Raiser is fine, that's the feed I use year round.
Did you happen to check her crop first thing this morning before she had anything to eat/drink? If not, do that in the morning.

What is the antibiotic that your husband put in the water?
 

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