Dare 2 Dream Forum

Nov 16, 2018

Moulting hens being mean




I could really use your help. I have 6 hens. 5 are large breeds and all are moulting (2 RI Reds, 1 Sussex and 1 Americauna, 1 silkie). The silkie is the oldest. Historically they have all gotten along great over the last 2 years. Last april we lost a silkie to cocci. All of a sudden, when the 5 big girls started molting, they are all bullying the silkie and have excluding. She's scared and upset. It's heartbreaking. I'm thinking of adding another silkie for her to have a small bread friend to hang with but now read that adding to the flock can be stressful but it's the molters that are being jerks. Super lost. Do you have any advice? Thank you.

Nov 19, 2018

Aw what a sad little lady! It is really hard to be a bantam all alone in a flock of standard size breeds. A bantam friend would do her a world of good for companionship during molting season and the rest of the year.


But for now, if they're all molting and picking feathers, it may represent a protein deficiency, which is not uncommon during a molt, since they're growing back new feathers that require a lot of protein for production. Chickens will sometimes try to treat their protein deficiencies by eating their eggs, or picking and eating other chicken's feathers. The Silkie may be excluding herself to stay safe. You can adjust a protein deficiency by adding lots of high protein supplements and treats. Think: Black Oil Sunflower Seeds (BOSS), mealworms, pumpkins, or even switching out their feed to a high protein layer feed if it's available in your area, or a non-medicated chick feed (naturally higher in protein, and no calcium but they're not laying eggs so they don't need it for the next month at least).


Hope this is helpful!

Mar 25Edited: Mar 25

My experience is that silkies are often the bullies when there's more than one so everyone's probably just paying her back since she lost her buddy. My recommendations are that chickens that can't fly should be in a pin with other similar chickens (Frizzell, Polish, coccins).

Are chickens are all molting too and add for them being aggressive right now even the female pheasants are being mean to each other right now

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