Moulting Chickens

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StephenT 

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Been keeping chickens now for over 5 years and we find that whenever they go through a moult they go off corn and consistently do watery poops. They always come though it ok though. I think we’ve googled this every year to see if it’s a common issue but found nothing. Anyone else found this?

Our skittish but lovely Exchequer Leghorn (Cruella) has started her moult early this year which is why it’s come to mind.
 

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Sutty 

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Lovely looking girl! Some of mine are moulting, I've never notice any watery poo though (but might not).
I've had occasional ones that lose feathers so quick they look "oven ready"! 😲
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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my mob seem to have been in permanent moult since the spring
Hasn't put them off their corn though - or their cabbage
 

Markthebuilder 

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Do you mean . They go off their food (corn) altogether. Or they eat other feed and leave the corn?
a higher protein food than corn will help them get over the moult
corn (maize) wheat, & barley. are all a lot lower in protein than layers pellets @ approx 16%

When mine start going into moult and stop laying I start feeding growers pellets for a few weeks it is generally about 18% protein and doesn’t include the calcium etc added in layers
 

StephenT 

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Do you mean . They go off their food (corn) altogether. Or they eat other feed and leave the corn?
a higher protein food than corn will help them get over the moult
corn (maize) wheat, & barley. are all a lot lower in protein than layers pellets @ approx 16%

When mine start going into moult and stop laying I start feeding growers pellets for a few weeks it is generally about 18% protein and doesn’t include the calcium etc added in layers
They just go off the bit of corn we give them in the evening. No problem with their layers pellets and anything else. Maybe they put their sensible cap on and try and stick to higher protein foods although I can’t imagine chickens think like that.
 

Markthebuilder 

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Mine generally eat what isn’t intended for them I used to buy chick food for chicks duck and gose for the ducks etc chickens seam to eat anything in preference to layers and peacocks have a pref for dog food go figure
 

Curly green finger's 

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Watery poos could indicate worms.
If there loosing there feathers it could be mites.
I would give them a wormer treatment and add some volcanic Ash to the feed and dust there coop and the birds.
Mites will make them loose feathers and when they are roosting that's when the mites are at there worst.

It might not be the above as this time of year with the weather they will be taking on a lot of water which can make them have watery poos.

I would still do the treatment above it will do know harm.

You can buy wormer in powder form and add it to there feed instead of buying a big bag of medicated layers or growers pellets.
 

Delgirl 

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I work for the hen charity BHWT as Lancs coordinator. Apart from BHWT having a dedicated careline for anyone with hens, here is a link about moulting. Moulting | British Hen Welfare Trust. Watery poo can be due to them drinking excess water in hot weather. Flubenvet is the recommended wormer as no egg withdrawal required.
 

B+. 

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Been keeping chickens now for over 5 years and we find that whenever they go through a moult they go off corn and consistently do watery poops. They always come though it ok though. I think we’ve googled this every year to see if it’s a common issue but found nothing. Anyone else found this?

Our skittish but lovely Exchequer Leghorn (Cruella) has started her moult early this year which is why it’s come to mind.
I'd suggest that this is a question that Dani might answer. Given her background as a vet, it's right up her street.
 

Erichalfbee 

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I'd suggest that this is a question that Dani might answer. Given her background as a vet, it's right up her street.
I’d go with the needing extra protein to refeather
Mine get tuna in their porridge when they are moulting.
 

B+. 

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I’d go with the needing extra protein to refeather
Mine get tuna in their porridge when they are moulting.
Would you recommend different feeds Dani? I've been looking at keeping quail (they have interesting genetics) and turkey starter is recommended for them as it contains up to 30% protein.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Yes something with high protein. From the sublime to the ridiculous I always wanted a couple of peacocks when we moved here but Stan said no. He wouldn’t even compromise with Guinea Fowl.
 

StephenT 

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The watery poo is just when they are moulting which is odd. They’re due deworming anyway and I just got some more flubenvet. The other 5 I assume will start their moult at the normal time which is usually autumn. She had a bit of salmon as we were eating dinner in the garden yesterday but it’s not a heavy moult and so she seems fine.
 

Erichalfbee 

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The watery poo is just when they are moulting which is odd. They’re due deworming anyway and I just got some more flubenvet. The other 5 I assume will start their moult at the normal time which is usually autumn. She had a bit of salmon as we were eating dinner in the garden yesterday but it’s not a heavy moult and so she seems fine.
Better than flubenvet is topical
Ivermectin. Nice and easy spot on
 

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