Odd behavior from Rhode Island molting

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by NoelleBP, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. NoelleBP

    NoelleBP Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2013
    Georgia
    I just went out to feed the girls this morning and my Rhode island red that is molting was acting really odd. I have actually never had a bird molt in the few years I have owned chickens, so I'm not sure if their behavior changes. That being said, I noticed her crouching her body down, holding her neck parallel with her body, and taking steps backwards. Her feet are also swollen and red between her toes. It has also been below freezing for several nights in a row. She is eating and drinking and foraging still.
     
  2. AmoPullam

    AmoPullam Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 27, 2013
    That is not normal behavior for chickens, even when they are molting. I am guessing that something is wrong.
     
  3. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Chicken behavior gets odd when they moult. They become paranoid and can even go off feed for a few weeks. Hard moulters seem off balance when they blow most of their feathers at once. All of the bird's energy goes into producing feathers which require supplementation of protein, vitamins, and minerals, especially if they are eating less. I use Avian Super Pack ( http://www.asp-inc.com/products/documents/prodinfo/a/aviansp.pdf ) in the water and mix gamebird crumbles/pellets mixed half with layer crumbles/pellets. No salt tuna is a good source of protein fed a few times a week too. I have used other supplements, and here is another good quality one for hard moulters:
    http://www.jedds.com/-strse-1798/AVIO-MOULT-400g-(Aviomed)/Detail.bok

    Make sure no drafts are hitting birds in their coop. The feet you mentioned could be a result of the surfaces they spend time on most of the day, and the cold weather. I make sure I keep about a 6" layer of pine shavings on the floor of the coop so there's plenty of padding when jumping down off roosts. This also prevents bumblefoot. Make sure roosts are sanded smooth with no splinters.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013
  4. NoelleBP

    NoelleBP Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2013
    Georgia
    Thank you for the information. That is a great help. I will add more shavings. There are plenty of girls to keep each other warm and I haven't seen any others with the swollen feet. I will be on the look out.
     
  5. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    You're welcome, NoelleBP.
     

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