Moulting = crazy hens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jonezjollyfarm, Oct 25, 2016.

  1. jonezjollyfarm

    jonezjollyfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My hens are all moulting for the first time and it's like they have all lost it. I've never experienced a moult either so this is new to me. It's like they can't find the nesting boxes and one of them has been making this low clucking sound sine it started. Is it stressful for them? I knew it took a toll on their ability to lay but this is crazy. I've been leaving eggs in the boxes to help remindevelop them but I can do that forever. Is this normal behavior?
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Why are you leaving eggs in the nest boxes? Molting birds don't usually continue laying. And yes, molting can affect their temperament. It's very uncomfortable, and can make them very irritable and grumpy.
     
  3. jonezjollyfarm

    jonezjollyfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well to my knowledge only one of mine has stopped laying completely. The rest still lay regularly, well pretty close to regular anyway. And I try to just use the ceramic eggs. The eggs they have layn I take out the next day after they have found the boxes. It's like they are pullets all over again.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    They are probably not in a full molt yet. Some will start losing feathers while still laying, but all will quit during the full molt as it's very physically taxing and they can't do both at once. Molting as said, hurts, so chickens become skiddish and moody and can do things like start sleeping in the nestboxes, or many will hide. Keep the protein up in their feed during it to help them through it. This year I have noticed it being a slower more drawn out molt than other years.
     
  5. jonezjollyfarm

    jonezjollyfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any suggestions on healthy proteinskin? I've heard cat food and tuna fish and scrambled eggs? I'm skeptical though
     
  6. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Cat food usually has too much salt. Fish, any kind of meat, scrambled eggs, and mealworms are good protein boosters. You can also switch them to a higher protein feed.
     
  7. jonezjollyfarm

    jonezjollyfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Like chick feed? I got the feathers fixer last year for our rooster who's age is unknown but he didn't really loose many feathers and none of them would eat it.
     
  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I feed either a non medicated chick starter and grower, or an All Flock ration, with oyster shells in a separate bowl, 18-20% is a good year round protein amount to keep chickens from becoming deficient. I tried cat food once but no one would eat it. Scrambled eggs or some cottage cheese a few times a week can help, otherwise just feeding a higher protein ration and limiting low protein treats for a while will really help.
     
  9. jonezjollyfarm

    jonezjollyfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think I'll do tuna I know they will eat that. I was nearly killed for a tuna sandwich once lol. Should I give it daily or a few times a week? And should I give it to them like a meal or ration a can between them?
     
  10. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Daily, in addition to unlimited feed.
     

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