Normal flock behavior??

KikiDeAnime

Spooky
Dec 29, 2017
2,954
5,143
407
Battle Ground, WA
I know I was going to take a small break from here but we have a small problem with the flock.
We have a 2 year old Buff Orpington hen going through a molt right now but the flock(except the ducks) is now harassing her. Sergeant Hei Hei is doing the most of it by constantly attacking her and ripping old and pin feathers off her. When he does it, a few hens do it too.
I currently have her separated from them.
None of the chickens we've ever owned have ever done this so it's a new thing.

What can I do about this??
Is this normal??
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,048
22,706
907
Southeast Louisiana
Is there a way to tell how long she'll be molting for?? Because she's been like this for 2-3 weeks now

This is a fairly good write-up about that. You need to look at the wing feathers.

http://extension.msstate.edu/content/molting-laying-hens

I've had some finish the molt and start laying again faster than that write-up says, but some take a long time. Some start laying when they finish and some wait until the longer days of spring. You just don't get guarantees. Usually, the worse she looks the faster it is.

This write-up is one of the reasons I say the difference in a fast molter and slow is not about how long it takes the feathers to grow back, it's about how long it takes for them to fall out.

You often see advice on this forum to increase protein when they are molting. That will not cause them to fall out any faster. It will help the feathers to look prettier when they do grow back. Black Oil Sunflower Seed (BOSS) makes a good snack for them in small quantities. You don't want to feed them too many because of the high oil content. But they are high in protein and the oil makes the feathers softer and shinier.
 

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