My Chicken is acting odd.... Help?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Rasuka, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. Rasuka

    Rasuka Out Of The Brooder

    I have a 1 year old Australorp which I raised from a baby chick.
    She has always been so sweet and loving, and thus she cuddles with me. Or she did...
    But for some odd reason, she is the ONLY chicken to experience molting...
    I have had her for 1 year and she is going through her 2nd or 3rd molt.
    But this time she doesn't act like her usual self....

    I am very worried... >~<
    She is losing WEIGHT, she squawks and calls out angrily when I pick her up.
    She use to would LOVE being held, and if you said "Kiss?" and she would reply a sweet "hoot" to you.
    But now she struggles, squawks, losing weight, and last but never the lest...

    The rest of my Australorps have black legs, but this particular Australorp (Lunate) the back of the leg the (knee looking part) is a bit green...
    Should I be concerned about her change in attitude? Or am I just over-reacting?
    Please help, if you can!! Any help/replies would be appreciated!
  2. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    Moulting is a tough time for birds. Some more than others. Much energy is put into growing new feathers and they stop laying, and become more irritable and uncomfortable. It is best not to handle birds too much while moulting. I would suggest using a good quality vitamin/mineral powder in the water at least 3 days a week, making a fresh solution each day. Make sure they get a fortified feed every day. Through the moulting period, many supplement protein for new feathers by adding 1/2 gamebird crumbles/pellets to their layer feed. You can hand out some scratch grains sparingly in the afternoon. The carbohydrates in corn will help the bird's body produce heat during cold weather.

    I don't know what to make of the "green area" on the leg you mentioned. Perhaps if you post a picture of it, we could figure it out.
  3. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    My chickens often act differently than normal when they molt. Its very stressful for them, and they often don't like being held because they have pinfeathers coming in. When my birds are molting, I handle them minimally to reduce stress, and because they don't like being held during it. Losing some weight is probably nothing to worry about. However, you could consider deworming, as worms can sometimes cause loss of weight.

    To help her with the molting, give some high protein foods. Supplement her with mealworms, scrambled eggs, and cat food. You can also give her a higher protein chicken feed, or a game bird feed. Game bird feeds contain more protein, and are helpful for molting birds.

    Also to help with stress, give electrolytes and probiotics. They would probably like yogurt and other treats too. Giving sunflower seeds and other high-oil foods will make the feathers coming in even shinier.
  4. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    I've found that chickens tend to become more flighty/nervous when they're molting. They stay away from other birds and humans, and squawk unhappily when they are grabbed or held. I think this is in part because they have so many tender feathers growing in, and being touched hurts them. Some birds may also walk funny at times, crouching low to the ground in an attempt (I think) to escape the feeling of the growing feathers.

    Chickens do sometimes lose a little weight when molting, too, as it is a stressful process. But a lot of weight loss could be the sign of a problem, such as worms. I might consider worming your flock, just to be safe. Other than that, just make sure your hen keeps eating, drinking, and acting (relatively) normal. Perhaps feed her high protein foods, like wet cat food, mealworms, scrambled/hard boiled eggs, gamebird feed, and other insects to help her grow in her feathers faster. Vitamins/electrolytes and probiotics (or apple cider vinegar) would help strengthen her immune system.

    The green on the leg is a mystery. Photos might help us figure it out. Some chickens have different pigmentation on their legs, do you think that is it? I know that chicken bruises are greenish, as well.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
  5. Rasuka

    Rasuka Out Of The Brooder

    Thank you guys so MUCH for the replies! It explains everything~ ^^ I will feed her eggs and see what goes then~ :3 Much appreciated!
  6. BettyBlueSilkie

    BettyBlueSilkie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2013
  7. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    Just don't feed all those items together, or for too long, otherwise your birds will have gout.

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