Our hen is snoozing, molting, naps a lot

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by steveg144, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. steveg144

    steveg144 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 12, 2011
    So our little egg-layin' machine Camilla the Leghorn is slowing down for the winter. This is our first entering-winter experience with our two hens (they wandered onto the property last December and adopted us), so we don't know if this is normal or not.

    1. Camilla has stopped laying. Not unexpected, since the days are shorter. Her housemate Nigella pops out around 3 eggs/week still, which is surprising. So I'm not worried that Camilla isn't laying.

    2. Camilla appears to be molting. Feathers look thinned out, and feathers on the floor of the coop etc. She doesn't appear to have any infestations, she's just "shedding" for lack of a better description.

    3. She naps a lot. She may do this all the time for all I know, I'm just seeing it a lot because with the cold weather they've taken to perching outside the window where I sit with my computer (I assume they're sucking up some of the radiated heat from inside the house) whereas normally they're all over the yard. So again, this napping behavior may not be unusual this time of year. She seems to like to tuck her head under her wing, which I know is normal snoozing behavior for birds. Is it normal for her to get comfortable and just basically "nod off" during the day?

    4. otherwise, no problems or anomalies. She forages all over the yard, eats her fill, craps enthusiastically, etc etc. So I don't think she's eggbound.

    Anyone have any idea if there's any cause for worry here? Thanks as always, everyone!
     
  2. johnson215

    johnson215 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 7, 2011
    bunnlevel, nc
    i have a few that hate the cold.[​IMG] i think they are done with the molting.. a couple of them refuse to come outside. [​IMG] they all hate the cold wind!!! and not one out of the 15 are laying right now. i'm going to have to buy eggs from the store for the first time in 2 years... i did order some new layers to refresh the batch. so hopefully this summer things will be hopping again...[​IMG]
     
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Northern CA
    My Coop
    No need to worry. When they molt, they just want to be left alone. You wouldn't be comfortable being a pincushion either. [​IMG] They can't lay eggs while molting because they need all their food energy to grow in new feathers. (feathers are mostly protein) She'll get back to her normal self in time. If she's sleeping puffed up, then she's just keeping warm.

    I'd save those eggs from the other hen too. If she's the same age, she could start her molt at any time.
     
  4. N. Virginia

    N. Virginia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 15, 2010
    Mine moulted a month or so ago in Northern VA...feathers back & the girls are venturing out of the house, however no eggs. How long before they start to lay again? Should I give them extra protein? They like cottage cheese, but I haven't been giving them much extra stuff except the usual pumpkin seeds & table scraps.
    Thanks,
    Loudoun
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    39,820
    1,299
    516
    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    N. Virginia :

    Mine moulted a month or so ago in Northern VA...feathers back & the girls are venturing out of the house, however no eggs. How long before they start to lay again? Should I give them extra protein? They like cottage cheese, but I haven't been giving them much extra stuff except the usual pumpkin seeds & table scraps.
    Thanks,
    Loudoun

    Roughly 3 months. My first one to molt quit laying eggs on 9/14 and I'm eagerly awaiting her to start up again. I have an Angel food cake to make and lots of Christmas goodies - so I NEED the eggs! I thought I was doing great this year with so many pullets that would keep me in eggs. Yeah, well, they decided to prove me wrong - over half of them are molting too.​
     

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