Why Chickens Molt

By Book Em Danno25 · Nov 14, 2014 · ·
  1. Book Em Danno25
    Why do chickens molt??? Well, you are about to find out.


    Molting is just a natural way of shedding old feathers and the growth of new ones. Chickens start molting at the head and neck, going down the body, breast and tail. Molting happens at regular intervals, but molting can happen at any time due to lack of nutrition, or sudden lighting changes. Broody hens molt heavily after their eggs have hatched and they have started going on a regular eating basis again.

    There are two juvenile molts before the first annual molt. The first molt starts at 6-8 days old and ends at about 4 weeks. The second molt starts at 7-12 weeks old.

    All chickens, big or small, will molt annually. The first though starts at 16-18 months. During a molt the chicken will lose all of his or her feathers, but not all at the same time. A feather consists of 85% protein, and the feather production places great demands on a chickens energy. As an effect, the egg production will drop or stop entirely.On average, molting will last around 6-9 weeks.

    A newly emerging feather will have a vein-filled shaft. If injured or cut, the stub-feather will bleed. These feathers are highly sensitive and the chickens highly prefer not to be handled during the season of molting. The feathers are covered in a waxy coating. If a shaft in injured, no matter how large or small the injury is, it will bleed profusely. If the other chickens in the flock start pecking at it, it will just make it worse. Remove the chicken and isolate it at once. When the bleeding stops, soak it in a sink of warm water. If the bleeding doesn't stop, remove it with a tweezers.

    Here are some things to do to ease your chicken through their molt.

    - Reduce their stress level as much as possible.

    -Increase their protein intake

    -Limit handling to avoid inflicting pain

    -Supplement their daily diet with any of these: tuna fish, cooked eggs, peas, beans fish meal.

    Even though molting is an inevitable thing for a chicken, you can help. I hope you have learned something. If you have any questions, pm me!!!


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  1. MyPetNugget
    Beautiful article!!!
  2. Mountain Peeps
    Nice article!!

    That poor rooster!:(
  3. MsPoultry
    Great article seeds grains and nuts though should be added to the list of supplements especially oats and sunflower seeds.
  4. Book Em Danno25
  5. sunflour
    Good article.

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