Moulting and cranky??? UPDATED

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TLM, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. TLM

    TLM Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 23, 2009
    Sacramento, CA
    I have 2 hens, both going on 16 months old. The submissive one of the two decided to start moulting a week ago, feathers are everywhere and she's starting to look pathetic. Just this morning she decided to start periodically attacking her alpha sister. This is the first time I've seen them have any sort of squabble.
    Does moulting make a hen cranky? Any advice on how to restore the peace?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010
  2. fordmommy

    fordmommy Dancing With My Chickens

    Jul 16, 2009
    Wisconsin
    No advice on the peace. But I am sure that she is miserable. I had two hens just go through moult and they did not want to be touched. I think it's probably painful in it's own right. They didn't want to be by anyone either.

    Just a thought.....[​IMG].....Maybe the one is telling the other one, in "chicken language", that she looks hidious and that she'll never find a man that way...... [​IMG].... Just kinding.....[​IMG]
     
  3. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

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    Jul 16, 2009
    best coast
    Molting makes hens unhappy. Some temporarily turn vicious. Don't worry too much~they'll be beautiful after the molt is over!
     
  4. lngrid

    lngrid Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm a complete newbie to chickens, but I was reading today that new feathers coming in after a molt (called pinfeathers) have a blood supply, unlike mature feathers, so If you break one the chicken will bleed. I also read that chicken blood doesn't clot like human blood does, so broken pinfeathers can cause very serious bleeding. I found out, too, that it's painful for uncomfortable for the chicken to have its pinfeathers brushed. I wonder if molting chickens get cranky as a protective strategy.
     
  5. TLM

    TLM Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 23, 2009
    Sacramento, CA
    Okay, now what!!!!??!! My cranky hen is no longer moulting and is back to egg laying (yippee!), but she still attacks her sister. Any time her sister comes out of the coop, cranky attacks her. Every morning I have to take the now moulting, stopped egg laying sister out of the run and put her in her own smaller space for the day. About 15 minutes before dark, I put her back in with cranky so at least she can sleep in the coop. Cranky has definitely exerted herself as dominant hen, but will not stop reminding her sister of it. It's to the point that if I left her in the run all day, she would not be allowed to eat or drink.

    I really don't want to maintain a separate coop and run for 2 hens (one per coop). Keeping them separated is becoming a pain in the neck. Why are they not getting along and is this going to end?

    Thanks!
     

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