Can too much protein cause molt?

Spinster_Sister

Songster
10 Years
Nov 9, 2009
333
2
144
Hawthorne, CA
My hen, Parsley, is doing so much better! She is on the final days of Baytril and she has put on some weight. I believe she is starting to molt...feathers are starting to fly off and she is grooming them off too. I have been feeding her buttermilk, Greek yogurt and Goat's Milk kefir mixed with her mash...along with meat, mealworms and she of course is eating alot of grass and catching Junebugs.

Could the extra protein be causing her to go into molt? She doesn't seem too interested in her kale or fresh corn...in fact, none of them do.

What products would you recommend to add to her regimen when her antibiotics are finished? She is taking poultry vitamins in her distilled water already, but I just want to give her as much immune boosting / good gut stuff to bridge her over from the meds.

TIA,

~Vickie
 

Erica

Songster
9 Years
Dec 5, 2010
821
38
133
Too much protein won't cause a molt as far as I'm aware. It will help feathers grow more quickly and in that sense may cause feather shedding and replacement to happen quicker, but I'd say your bird is simply doing what her genes and the time of year tell her to do.

Too much protein is a little harmful in other ways though. For instance it makes growers get oversized combs (what happens internally I don't know, but there's probably a higher chance of organ dysfunction). It may also cause a bird to lay through the molt, which can wear her out in the long run.

It doesn't sound like you're feeding too much protein overall, but milk products certainly need to be limited to a small amount of the diet. All my birds are doing well with some kefir in the diet, but there's definitely such a thing as too much. Apart from anything else the mineral balance isn't right for layers.

Hope this helps, good luck with your recuperating bird.


Erica
 

edselpdx

Songster
11 Years
Nov 10, 2008
196
1
111
Portland, OR
I don't think extra protein causes a molt, but it is actually helpful with making sure they have enough protein to get through the stress and nutrient loss of growing the new feathers in, so I wouldn't cut back now. If she's trying to heal an injury/illness, too, she needs a good balanced high-protein diet. Not too much milk product, but a good chicken mash with high protein treats will help sustain her through this molt. Better now than December when mine usually molt...
 

Spinster_Sister

Songster
10 Years
Nov 9, 2009
333
2
144
Hawthorne, CA
Thank you for replying. I was getting a little worried if I am doing too much as far as milk proteins. Mixing Greek yogurt or buttermilk with her mash is what really started getting her interested in eating a fair amount again. Now, my girl is eating her mash separately and I think she's kind of getting tired of the yogurt mix. She loves roast beef (with garlic and rosemary no salt) and that is what she gets after she gets her Baytril....and mealworms/junebugs since they ate pretty much all of the insects out of the garden already. I will start sprinkling Fertrell's Direct Feed microbials on their food tonight.

I'll just give her and the rest a small amount of goat kefir (maybe 1 oz per pen) mixed with their mash and diced veg for a mid morning treat a few times a week.

I have read that hens given Baytril over a longer term of treatment become non-layers and to be honest, I would prefer she stop laying if it means a chance that she may not get EYP.
 

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