Sad and unsocial bird

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by TadpoleBird, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. TadpoleBird

    TadpoleBird New Egg

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    Nov 14, 2013
    Hi everyone,

    I have a hen who seems depressed. She is a RIR/White leg horn cross. In the last few days I have noticed that the feathers around her neck are missing/damaged, as well as her tail feathers. When I open the coop, all the other birds (5 other RIR/WLH and 2 Speckled Sussex) come sprinting out and she just lingers in the pen/coop. I have been watching to see if anyone is bullying her. I haven't noticed any inappropriate behaviors toward her. I have 8 birds total in a coop that can fit up to 20 birds, so I don't think crowding is an issue. I let the birds out as often as possible but I do have a full time job so their free ranging time is limited to weekends for the most part. They have a large pen off the side of their coop which I put scratch or other scraps in each morning. They have access to food and fresh water continuously. All my RIR/WLH girls did have their beaks clipped when I got them. Hers is a little flat/rounded at the end but I have seen her pick up pieces of scratch so I don't think its keeping her from eating.

    I'm really worried about this girl. I have never had an issue with hens but I know they are social creatures and she just seems sad, lonely, and not thriving like my other hens. Can I have some suggestions as to how to proceed forward?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Is she molting?
     
  3. TadpoleBird

    TadpoleBird New Egg

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    Nov 14, 2013
    She's only 8 months old and none of her sisters are.. I don't think so. Can she molt this early?
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    It's unusual for most breeds but the breed I have all molt their first autumn if hatched early spring.

    Are you seeing a lot of feathers in the coop/run?
     
  5. TadpoleBird

    TadpoleBird New Egg

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    Nov 14, 2013
    Not a concerning amount. Might they be eating them?

    I'm concerned bc it seems like all her needs are being met and there is nothing that seems alarming to me other than her demeanor and the feathers missing.
     
  6. Huntress78

    Huntress78 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Check to see if there are new feather shafts coming in to replace the lost feathers...if so, she's molting. Some birds act very sick when they molt. I have one that always stands with her head in the corner like she's hiding. She won't or can't fly up to roost...she waits for me to pick her up at night and put her on the roost. If I didn't she would sleep in the corner on the floor.

    I have seen pullets eat feathers...my older hens do not though. You might want to give them a little more protein for a while. A higher protein feed or eggs, meat etc.
     

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