20% of Flock is Doing Weird Molting...To Give Molt Muffins or Not?

analyticalblonde

Songster
Apr 30, 2018
278
874
207
Tooele, UT
I have 10 girls...2 of each: Ameracunas, Barred Rocks, Lavender & Buff Orpingtons, and New Jersey Reds...

First to start molting was one of my Lavender Orpingtons, Legs, about a month ago...she started at the head & neck, skipped the torso and it went directly to her butt...she's bringing in some new feathers now at the neck...

The second one started last week, one of my New Jersey Reds named "Vanny" after Vincent Van Gogh because she lost her earlobe this past summer...it started at her butt (lost all of her tail feathers! She has no butt now) then went to only her neck...she looks like only something a Mother could love right now...

Another of my girls, a Buff Orpington named Miss Pasty Butt (can you guess why?), is just starting but it is on the main body area...

So with 3 of the ten girls going through some variation of a molt in the absolute coldest time for my region (Utah), is it OK to put out Molt Muffins even though 7 of the girls haven't gone down that road yet?

I have purchased a feed that is at 18% protein and I do give all of them treats such as Black Fly Larvae coupled with greens since there is nothing on the ground right now except for the snow.

They are not Free-Ranging unfortunately because our property is barren of trees for protection and we DO have Coyotes, Owls, Cats, Dogs, and Hawks. I try to go out each day and stand guard like a shepherd with their flock and let them out into the sunshine but they won't venture out if there is snow right outside of their run.

I want to keep them healthy and provide the extra protein needed for the girls who are molting but am concerned about the others who are not. Is it OK to provide molt muffins knowing that ALL of the girls can get to them when only 3 are in need of the extra protein?
 

analyticalblonde

Songster
Apr 30, 2018
278
874
207
Tooele, UT
Are you certain that they are not being feather pecked/plucked ? Can you post pictures ?
Tomorrow I will take pictures and post...I don't think they are being plucked because I have seen new feather shafts come in. But then again, I am not certain because of the odd molting. I have seen others peck at the girls when they lie down in the dirt and bask in the sunshine: I only thought it was because those girls want the spot in the sun and the ones who are going through the molt want to feel some comfort with the warmth, albeit only just for a moment during this winter.

There are feathers, everywhere!, in my run...so I am pretty sure it's a molt on the girls' part and not being feather pecked. I'll post pictures tomorrow of my girls who are molting...

Should I make molt muffins for them with there being 7 who are not in a molt?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
Nov 27, 2012
71,021
71,819
1,557
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
How old are they, in months?
Guessing they are under a year old and are having a partial molt, not unusual.

Should I make molt muffins for them with there being 7 who are not in a molt?
Probably not necessary, sounds like you have a pretty good diet going for them.
What are in molt muffins anyway?
 

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
Feb 2, 2009
24,129
12,144
707
Southeast Louisiana
Sounds like a molt to me if feathers are all over. Just because some don't molt doesn't mean none will or if some molt they all will. They can molt any time of the year, sometimes full or partial molts.

I personally don't change feed when some of mine molt. I don't consider it necessary to change feed, I have not seen mine suffer any because of that. They go through the molt and get back to laying eggs. Mine don't all molt at the same time anyway.

You can do as you wish. If you wish to feed them extra you certainly can. As long as you don't get ridiculous about it the ones molting or the ones not molting will be fine. Or you can keep feeding them as you are. The ones molting or the ones not molting will be fine.

As long as they are otherwise acting normal don't let their molting stress you out. It's normal and natural.

Miss Pasty Butt (can you guess why?),

Love your sense of humor.
 

vantain

Songster
Sep 2, 2018
297
428
113
Southern Minnesota
Tomorrow I will take pictures and post...I don't think they are being plucked because I have seen new feather shafts come in. But then again, I am not certain because of the odd molting. I have seen others peck at the girls when they lie down in the dirt and bask in the sunshine: I only thought it was because those girls want the spot in the sun and the ones who are going through the molt want to feel some comfort with the warmth, albeit only just for a moment during this winter.

There are feathers, everywhere!, in my run...so I am pretty sure it's a molt on the girls' part and not being feather pecked. I'll post pictures tomorrow of my girls who are molting...

Should I make molt muffins for them with there being 7 who are not in a molt?
I'm in the same boat. I have one ISA Brown molting right now...feathers everywhere! I'm in southern Minnesota, and it was -9 last night in the coop. I went into the coop late, and moved her between the two other hens, so she can stay a little warmer. Right now, she doesn't appear too bad, as her outer feathers are still there. It's the soft downy feathers underneath that are exploding everywhere. I understand the concern about the cold though. I'm concerned as well.
 

Henry&Friends

Songster
May 6, 2018
461
1,056
186
I would give them the molt muffins, because I love watching them eat treats anyways :pop

If you’re worried, is there any way you could separate the molting birds and give them molt muffins, and give the rest of the flock like... regular muffins? I bet they’d love that.
 

analyticalblonde

Songster
Apr 30, 2018
278
874
207
Tooele, UT
How old are they, in months?
Guessing they are under a year old and are having a partial molt, not unusual.


Probably not necessary, sounds like you have a pretty good diet going for them.
What are in molt muffins anyway?
Hi aart!

They are all the same age going on 10 months old.

Molt Muffins are small (think of the regular-sized muffins we get at the bakery) that are higher in protein content. They are offered when girls go into a molt to help supplement the demand for the additional protein needed for the development of the new feathers coming in.

One recipe:

3 Eggs, lightly beaten
¾ Cup water
2T Molasses
2/3 Cup Old-fashioned Oats
2/3 Cup Layer Crumble (or pellets moistened in a bit of water)
¼ Cup Wheat germ
¼ Cup Powdered Milk
3 Cloves Garlic, chopped
¼ Cup Fresh or Dried Parsley
1T each Fresh or Dried Basil, Dill, Marjoram and Tarragon
1 ½ Pounds Ground Beef (I think ground turkey would be better!)

Another recipe:

INGREDIENTS
  1. 1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
  2. 1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds
  3. 1/2 cup dried mealworms
  4. 1/4 cup wheat germ
  5. 2 tablespoons powdered milk
  6. 1/4 cup raisins
  7. 1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid
  8. 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
  9. 1 cup natural unsalted peanut butter
  10. to hang the muffins you will need six large buttons (over 1" diameter so the chickens can't swallow them and baker's twine)
 

analyticalblonde

Songster
Apr 30, 2018
278
874
207
Tooele, UT
I would give them the molt muffins, because I love watching them eat treats anyways :pop

If you’re worried, is there any way you could separate the molting birds and give them molt muffins, and give the rest of the flock like... regular muffins? I bet they’d love that.
Don't really have a way to separate them at this time...I think I will make a batch and keep them in the freezer, giving one (or two) after warming. I will stop giving the Black Fly Larvae because my recipes call for it in the ingredients.
 
Top Bottom