Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Are Your Chickens Molting?

Poor Mist is going through such a hard molt this season.  She will be 4 years old in February.  Chickens molt (shed their feathers) generally once a year and generally in the fall.  I always know when the molting begins because it really does look like your chicken sneezed REALLY hard and blew all their feathers out.  It looks like a feather bomb on the bottom of the coop floor.

If you have new pullets or cockerels they will generally not molt until their second year, but I have had newbies molt their first year.  It is hard and stressful on the hens and they generally will stop laying when they molt.  They need all their energy and protein to grow back new feathers.

It is wise to feed your chickens a diet higher in protein during this time.  Give them scrambled eggs, mealworms, black oil sunflower seeds, or better yet some meat bird feed that contains about 22% protein.  They generally do not want to be held or bothered with since it is also painful when their pin feathers are growing in.  Rest assured, they will emerge with beautiful plumage when they are done.

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