Saturday, January 14, 2012

Chicken Chatter: Angel is molting

Poor, little Angel.  She began molting sometime before Christmas, and she is still in the process.  I have to admit, I knew nothing about molting chickens before she started this!  Molting is basically a process that chickens go through every year or other year to lose their old feathers and replace them with new feathers.
Angel, a salmon faverolle, before the molt started.
Angel, before molt, with full fluffy feathers.
I first recognized that something was up when she stopped laying eggs.  Her eggs are a pretty salmon color, that is easy to pick out from the other chickens.  Other than not laying eggs, she seemed perfectly healthy and has no visible signs of a parasite.
Angel lays the smaller, salmon colored egg.

Then, I noticed that she was looking a little--disheveled?  Her beautiful feathers were not laying as smoothly against her body, and she was starting to look smaller.
Angel, during molt.
Then, I noticed the feathers: it looked like she exploded in the run!  There were Angel feathers everywhere, and any time she flapped her wings, feathers would fly.
Feathers are everywhere.
I am okay with her not laying eggs, and I am okay with her looking less than pristine.  It is the OTHER chickens that are bothering me.  Because she has lost some feathers, and looks smaller than normal (plus she has some feathers sticking out in weird places), the other chickens are picking on her!  Or rather pecking on her--they are being down right mean.  Poor Angel has resorted to staying in the coop to avoid them.
Angel staying in the coop to avoid the other chickens.
I can tell the other chickens are stressing Angel out.  So while I am home, I am letting Angel spend time outside of the run with me.  She seems to really like it! I am also spoiling her with treats like flax seed.

Angel has been hopping on our laps and shoulders when we are outside.  And she has even learned to untie my tennis shoes --  a great chicken game.  While I am enjoying this 1 on 1 chicken time, I am really looking forward to the other chickens treating her with kindness again.  I can tell her new feathers are growing in, so hopefully this process won't last too much longer for her.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting my blog! If you enjoyed the post, you have a question, or you would like to share your own experience on a similar topic, please leave a comment. I really enjoy hearing from you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...