Poor hen losing A LOT of weight

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by roxyblue, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. roxyblue

    roxyblue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello Everyone,
    Sorry if this is in the wrong section of the forum....
    Recently I had a hen that was molting really badly. Today I noticed she didn't want to get on her roost. she is still growing in her new feathers. When i lifted her onto her roost I felt that she was VERY light. Probably 4 puonds (she is usually about 6) I can feel her breast bone and she hasn't been such a happy trooper lately. Is it normal for them to lose so much weight during molt? (I think that the reason she didn't get on her rost is #1 stella (another chicken) stole her spot, and #2 it is 36 degrees out and she was probably warmer snuggled in her nesting box)
    Thanks for any advise!
    -Roxy
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    When was the last time you wormed her? Was she laying normally before her molt?
     
  3. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

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    My BO lost a whole pound during her molt. She went from 4.5 lbs to 3.5. I was really surprised because she hid it so well under all those feathers. She still doesn't want me to pick her up so I haven't weighed her recently but I'm going to try again this weekend. I've been tossing out extra BOSS and sneaking her meal worms on the side. But I have to be careful because if I give out too many treats, then she won't eat her feed.

    Try giving her extra treats on the side. Scrambled egg, meal worms, BOSS (you can even buy it pre-shelled) I think it's called no-mess bird feed and that way she's getting all the fat and nutrition possible.
     
  4. roxyblue

    roxyblue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks!,
    They havn't been wormed, though I plan on doing that soon. I will give her and her flock mates some high protein treats tommorow. Could it be worms? Are there any other symptoms that worms would cause?
    thanks again,
    -roxy
    P.S. she was a prolific layer all summer, but stpped all together about a week befor molting....I'm going to give my hard working girls the winter off. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  5. RhodeIslandRedFan

    RhodeIslandRedFan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How is her crop? I have one who is in heavy molt, is not eating or drinking well, and has lost weight. I noticed that her crop is harder than usual although I'm not sure it is impacted, but I have begun giving her small doses of olive oil and massaging her crop. I searched on this site and found there may be some connection between hard molts and crop impaction. You might want to check your hen for this.

    BTW - I tried worming mine and this did not help, and I never saw any evidence that my hens had worms.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  6. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

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    Yea, I worried about worms too but I just had her checked by the vet a month earlier and she came back clean. And her sister is clean too. So I HIGHLY doubt that she's been fine for 14 months and then all of the sudden had a case of the worms so bad to lose that much weight. I've read that a bad infestation of mites can also cause something like this but I don't see anything on her.

    I do think molting is really hard on them and probably frightening the first time they go through it. My BO is a pet so I can stay pretty close to her and watch her daily. She does seem to be doing much better and I'm eager to weigh her again to see if she's gaining, maintaining or still dropping. She seemed to stop losing feathers a few weeks back and then this last week, I'm finding feathers again. We're 9 weeks into her molt and I've read that it can really take 12-16 so she does still have a ways to go.

    If you can weigh her, it's a great way to really keep tabs on what's going on w/ them.

    And most avian vets will check a dropping sample for a fee w/ out bringing in the bird to do a whole work up. Worming is really hard on the birds and I hate to do it if I don't have to. And you'd have to toss all their eggs while you worm. If you go out at night and see where she's roosting, then in the morning, you can collect a few droppings from right under her.

    Keep me posted. I'm really curious about others. It can't just be my one Orpington who loses weight during a molt.
     
  7. roxyblue

    roxyblue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hello and thankyou!,
    I did feel her "crop" today, nothing, there is one hard lump but it feels like bone?. I'm pretty sure it's not the crop. It did surprise me though that there was nothing in it. I'll see how she is tommorow. Thanks again.
    -roxy
     
  8. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:My girl too has an empty crop unless I just let her stick her head in the meal worm farm and gorge herself. It's been really difficult for me to gauge what's normal and what I should be worried about. Her sister is a Jersey Giant who is a PORKER and ALWAYS has a full crop.

    For about a month, there were no droppings under my Orpington under where she slept. There was a pile the size of a dog pile under the JG. This REALLY concerned me so I was hand feeding the BO, eggs and other treats and anything to get her to eat. Now she eats on her own and I see her going to the feeder for feed. But she never has a full stuffed crop like the JG. And I can only think it's because she doesn't feel like herself during the molt.
     
  9. roxyblue

    roxyblue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello,
    yes, latly my poor girl has been a grumpy sour puss. I'll make her a layer mash tommorow with some chick starter (high protein) and probably some electrolytes in their AVC water. I'll see how she does, later when I have more time I may cook up an egg. We are all out of mealworms [​IMG]
    thanks all!
    -roxy
     
  10. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:My girls LOVE scrambled egg. And I serve it to them warm which they seem to appreciate.

    I've read that some hens like cottage cheese or yogurt. Mine won't touch it. But give it a try. You can mix in some oatmeal or seeds into the yogurt. Also high in protein.
     

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