Need to Tube Severely Molting Hen

micstrachan

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Premium Feather Member
Apr 10, 2016
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Santa Cruz Mountains, California
@Overo Mare I have to thank you again for the video. The single thing that has really helped is the firm upper beak grasp. I can control her much better with that. Plus, I think she knows she feels better when she’s hydrated and fed. I’ve also been putting the tube in deeper.

Since Ester will eat a little, but is not drinking, combined with my crazy number of meetings, I’ve been prioritizing fluids. Today she got:
  • 60mL pedalyte
  • 3 x 65mL formula (morning, midday, after night meeting)
  • 55mL water
When I sort of “prime” her with fluid, it clears her crop really fast and then I feed her. (30-60 minutes later). Is that good practice? It seems to be working, and Ester tolerates it well.

Ester’s outside time today was good at first, and then I was stuck in a 2-hour meeting where I learned I had to go into the office and don’t know how she did. She was safe and had a heat source, so I wasn’t overly worried. When I went out to bring her in after my meeting, she was in the mini coop by herself (obviously, since was confined there) and everyone else was in the big coop. It was a beautiful, seasonably warm day, so I think something must have scared them.

I am really looking forward to the warm weekend where she can have some supervised outside time. I expect a few hours each day where it will be as warm outside as inside.

Ester is feathering in well. I don’t understand why she still isn’t drinking. I really hope I can help her through flock time this weekend. I did not want her inside this long and a couple big girls are being jerks to her (the same ones who were jerks to the babies.)

Here is a photo of Bridge’s butt. You can see Ruby attacking Ester in the background. This was Dec. 5th... long before molt. It’s just a demonstration of how Ester is low in the pecking order. Ruby, along with Buttercup, was being a jerk to her today. (Ruby is on borrowed time with some sort of reproductive issue... we’re keeping it at bay with hormone implants).
97C9E200-0CC9-47EE-9B2A-E081CBD8E9AD.jpeg
 

LateBirdFarms

Songster
Apr 17, 2020
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Ontario
I am so glad your Red has done so well with the hard molt. Where is she in the pecking order? Ester is one of the lower ranked birds and has always been thin.

Red's somewhere in the top three, which happen to be my last remaining pushy, greedy red shaver girls, so she was a pretty meaty girl to begin with. She had that going for her. I feel so terrible for the poor thing, I didn't think it was possible for her to loose any more feathers, but she dropped the ones off the top of her neck and the last of the sad ones on her back over the past few days, at least she had some already coming in under there! I think that leaves her half her wings, a few pathetic tail feathers and the top of her head. I don't know if I've just had great luck, but this is the first time in the five(?) years I've kept production birds that I've seen a full hard molt, but I'm pretty excited about seeing her new gleaming feathers come in! (Probably just as happy as she'll be to lose the porcupine look!) I get too attached to my girls to watch them go early with all the issues the reds have, so I'm watching her like a hungry hawk for any warning signs, but I swear she looks at me like I'm starting to annoy her!

I'd be pulling my hair out with worry and frustration being stuck between work and keeping Ester on schedule! Do you have a chicken cam yet? 😅 I just HAD to get one of the Amazon cheapies so I could peek at my ladies while Im out tending to the things that matter to other people, like standing in line forever to make sure the kitchen is stocked!
 

micstrachan

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
Apr 10, 2016
9,527
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Santa Cruz Mountains, California
Red's somewhere in the top three, which happen to be my last remaining pushy, greedy red shaver girls, so she was a pretty meaty girl to begin with. She had that going for her. I feel so terrible for the poor thing, I didn't think it was possible for her to loose any more feathers, but she dropped the ones off the top of her neck and the last of the sad ones on her back over the past few days, at least she had some already coming in under there! I think that leaves her half her wings, a few pathetic tail feathers and the top of her head. I don't know if I've just had great luck, but this is the first time in the five(?) years I've kept production birds that I've seen a full hard molt, but I'm pretty excited about seeing her new gleaming feathers come in! (Probably just as happy as she'll be to lose the porcupine look!) I get too attached to my girls to watch them go early with all the issues the reds have, so I'm watching her like a hungry hawk for any warning signs, but I swear she looks at me like I'm starting to annoy her!

I'd be pulling my hair out with worry and frustration being stuck between work and keeping Ester on schedule! Do you have a chicken cam yet? 😅 I just HAD to get one of the Amazon cheapies so I could peek at my ladies while Im out tending to the things that matter to other people, like standing in line forever to make sure the kitchen is stocked!
Thanks for the update on Red! You might have to enter her in the molting contest, which has not quite closed yet. Do you have photos?

I don’t have a coop cam yet! However, I want one. Someday. :)
 

LateBirdFarms

Songster
Apr 17, 2020
663
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Ontario
I've been trying for a decent pic for the last week, I think I've got one or two from the day I found her, I was in a total panic, I was sure something killed one of my birds from the sudden feather explosion in the run! She's one of those girls that runs like your pointing a gun at her instead of a cell phone, but I'll have to try twice as hard tomorrow, this hot mess needs to be documented!
 

Overo Mare

A Tide Rainbow Adventure 🌈
Premium Feather Member
Aug 26, 2019
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Smalltown Virginia, USA
@Overo Mare I have to thank you again for the video. The single thing that has really helped is the firm upper beak grasp. I can control her much better with that. Plus, I think she knows she feels better when she’s hydrated and fed. I’ve also been putting the tube in deeper.

Since Ester will eat a little, but is not drinking, combined with my crazy number of meetings, I’ve been prioritizing fluids. Today she got:
  • 60mL pedalyte
  • 3 x 65mL formula (morning, midday, after night meeting)
  • 55mL water
When I sort of “prime” her with fluid, it clears her crop really fast and then I feed her. (30-60 minutes later). Is that good practice? It seems to be working, and Ester tolerates it well.

Ester’s outside time today was good at first, and then I was stuck in a 2-hour meeting where I learned I had to go into the office and don’t know how she did. She was safe and had a heat source, so I wasn’t overly worried. When I went out to bring her in after my meeting, she was in the mini coop by herself (obviously, since was confined there) and everyone else was in the big coop. It was a beautiful, seasonably warm day, so I think something must have scared them.

I am really looking forward to the warm weekend where she can have some supervised outside time. I expect a few hours each day where it will be as warm outside as inside.

Ester is feathering in well. I don’t understand why she still isn’t drinking. I really hope I can help her through flock time this weekend. I did not want her inside this long and a couple big girls are being jerks to her (the same ones who were jerks to the babies.)

Here is a photo of Bridge’s butt. You can see Ruby attacking Ester in the background. This was Dec. 5th... long before molt. It’s just a demonstration of how Ester is low in the pecking order. Ruby, along with Buttercup, was being a jerk to her today. (Ruby is on borrowed time with some sort of reproductive issue... we’re keeping it at bay with hormone implants).
View attachment 2490269
So happy that helped you!

As long as her poops look good, and she continues to improve and tolerate it well, I would keep it up. I might switch to plain water at this point though.

So glad that she's getting outside time! I know that it has to be uplifting for her. Hopefully the flock will encourage her to be a chicken and eat/drink on her own.

Have you been measuring her water that you leave out? Just to make sure she's not drinking.

Also, how's her weight?
 

micstrachan

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Premium Feather Member
Apr 10, 2016
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Santa Cruz Mountains, California
Last day I weighted her, she was right around 2350, but I have not weighed her in the last couple days. I will tomorrow!

Ester’s feathers are coming in so well, I think she’s a little too warm in the house. Her wings were out a bit and her beak was slightly open, so I opened the sliding glass door a crack. Better now. Roxy had her wings out in the coop tonight, too. It’s unusual for the weather to be this warm this time of year, but it might provide the right opportunity to transition Ester back outside.

No... I don’t know for sure that she’s not drinking, but I do keep coming home to an empty crop. She looks really great, though. I think she’s going to be fine.
 
Last edited:

Aussie-Chookmum

Obeying her avian masters
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Apr 20, 2019
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Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
Last day I weighted her, she was right around 2350, but I have not weighed her in the last couple days. I will tomorrow!

Ester’s feathers are coming in so well, I think she’s a little too warm in the house. Her wings were out a bit and her beak was slightly open, so I opened the sliding glass door a crack. Better now. Roxy had her wings out in the coop tonight, too. It’s unusual for the weather to be this warm this time of year, but it might provide the right opportunity to transition Ester back outside.

No... I don’t know for sure that she’s not drinking, but I do keep coming home to an ermpty crop. She looks really great, though. I think she’s going to be fine.
You've done amazingly micstrachan. Well done to you and Ester.

Have you been measuring her water that you leave out? Just to make sure she's not drinking.
Good idea. Just measure a cup out for her and pour it back into the measuring cup when you get home to check the difference.
 

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