Hessen of For the Love of Chicken Poop
After almost a week of rainy, cold, can't-leave-the-run weather the sun came out. And the girls all came out except Carmen. Carmen? My polish crested party girl where are you….? Still up on the roost. What's wrong? Come out and play the bad weather is gone! I explained to her that it was okay, the sun was out no rain or ice anywhere. Slowly and sluggishly she came out. She wandered around like she was in a daze, didn't want to scratch or hunt bugs and worms. She just stood around. So I found a nice worm and brought it to her and she just looked at it. Not a good sign. I picked her up and gave her a little attention - thinking she was still upset at having been stuck in the run so much. The other chickens were running around, crazy happy to be out
|'I don't want to come out'!|
|What a look.|
Except for seeing NO FEATHERS anywhere she was having all the symptoms of molting it seemed. The guys had told me to gently look for pinfeathers, which I did, and there they were! Lots of pinfeathers coming in around her eyes, and head and upper body area -hidden by bigger feathers already there. Pinfeathers are the tips of newly emerging feathers, sometimes looking more like goose bumps till they come through the skin. They supply blood to the newly growing feather until the feather is fully formed. This process is one of the reason they crave and need a lot more protein in their diet.
My chicken keeping buddies told me to what to do for her until she came out of her molting. I started really pampering her, keeping an eye on her when she was in the run or coop with the others. She is getting lots of extra protein in her diet. I make sure she gets her share of oatmeal in the mornings and of course lots of fresh greens. I hand fed her scrambled eggs several days in a row when she seemed at her lowest. And she appears to be getting a teeny bit perkier…especially right after having been hand-fed cooked eggs or oatmeal.
I had read somewhere that high-end cat food, preferably a seafood flavor (nothing containing chicken), and even tuna fish meant for humans was high in protein and good for them.
Here is a list of my 'concoctions' that seemed too be loaded with protein and they all LOVE anyway. They are easy to fix and most people have the ingredients on hand.
- One cup cooked oatmeal mixed with 1/4 peanut butter and couple of tablespoons of wheatgerm.
- About 1/4 cup high cup high-end cat food (not chicken), equal amount of uncooked oatmeal.
- Scrambled eggs of course.
- NO junk food - anything that would be unhealthy for humans to eat such as cake, cookies, salty foods, white bread, french fries - foods with no nutritional value.
Besides first aid supplies for the chickens, I think we need to keep special high protein foods stocked away just in case...
Hurry up Spring!