Do hens molt in the winter??????


In the Brooder
7 Years
Sep 19, 2012
About 2 weeks ago my EE got broody, I put her in a broody cage for a few days and then put her back with the other hens. A few days ago I went out to the chicken pen and thought someone had plucked one of my girls! There were feathers everywhere. It is the same hen that got broody. She seems fine, but she is losing feathers. I would guess she is molting. Do they do that in the winter? Is there anything I can do to keep her from losing feathers? Is there a certain feed I should give her? Will she get to cold now that winter is here? I am in Georgia, so it isn't freezing or snowing but it is still cold. Any answers would be great!
Chicken like dogs or cats will molt twice a year. Use Diatomaecouis Earth (food Grade) and sprinkle it on her. You can also add to their feed at a rate of 5%. She will start growing feather rather quickly. A chicken needs about 16-18 percent protein to regrow feathers so they will stop laying and use all the protein into feather. I have added Calf Manna into their feed to help give them the extra protein they need. They will return to laying right after they have grown feather back usually in about 4-6 weeks on a heavy molt, which sound like what you have going on.
What are other good sources of protein I can give her? Like what kinds of vegetables or beans would be good for her. Can I give her tunafish? I read somewhere that it was good for chickens, but I just don't know. I crushed up some pecans this morning and gave all my girls some.She just looks so pitiful!!
My husband wanted to butcher all the hens when they started looking like this. I was like... right. Maybe someone should have butchered me after three months of sitting with a colicky baby, right? LOL She WILL get better when her feathers grow back in, but I suppose it can be hard to watch. Increasing protein helps, comfrey helps a lot. (as an added supplement for future reference) patience is key. :)
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