Feathers and Molting?

SilverMoon

Chirping
8 Years
Nov 30, 2011
46
1
77
In The Shadows With MyChickens
Recently I have noticed a sea of buff feathers all over the place. I am no stranger to molting in birds since before we got the chickens we had our last little parakeet still alive. My question is are all those feathers normal parts of molting or parts of something bigger. I have noticed that the possible australorps are doing the same thing their orpie and possible leghorn sisters are doing. Today alone our little orpington shook her feathery body and a ton of feathers popped out. Do we need to change their food or give them more of something and less of something else?
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,455
18,037
876
Holts Summit, Missouri
Bump up protein content of feed a little. If using a laying feed of some sort, add a little grower finisher diet to mix. At this time of year feed intake will be increasing to compensate for reduced temperature. Additional feed can come in form of the grower which has higher protein levels.
 

SilverMoon

Chirping
8 Years
Nov 30, 2011
46
1
77
In The Shadows With MyChickens
What else could be concidered high in protein that we can give them if we cant find mixes? I dont want to end up seeing them without feathers. And even still would new ones grow back? I didnt think I would see shedding especially in my chickens. We dont have puppies but we sure feel like it with so many pretty feathers everywhere
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,455
18,037
876
Holts Summit, Missouri
You should be a able to find a chick grower feed at same place you purchase your layer feed. If desperate look into using cat or dog feed but use only sparingly, at no more than a 1/4 of total feed applied. I can use fish but for me that is very easy to acquire and effectively free.


Are you feeding scratch or some sort of intact grain like shelled corn? Too much of such can cause rapid loss of feathers.
 

SilverMoon

Chirping
8 Years
Nov 30, 2011
46
1
77
In The Shadows With MyChickens
We do a egg lay mash. It comes in those bags from universal feeds. Sometimes we do get crumbles most of all just mash. As treats we do give them corn. That they do love fresh off the cobb. I also heard from someone way back that sunflower seeds helped to provide extra protein. I will see what works for them but I do thank you for the advice. Anything helps to keep my flock happy and healthy =).
 

Choco Maran

Songster
10 Years
Jul 25, 2009
730
51
153
Ribera New Mexico
I'm a firm believer in adding Calf Manna and/or some Diatomacious Earth into their feed. DE will give them the protein they need and will start regrowth of feather quickly. I have used this combination for a long time with a great deal of sucess. I think it will help shorten the molt as well. The DE will also get you better egg production from the hen once done molting.
 

SilverMoon

Chirping
8 Years
Nov 30, 2011
46
1
77
In The Shadows With MyChickens
I thank you all for the advice . So far I am looking into the suggestions and seeing what could work best for our little flock. We even got I believe the right food to help them grow back too. So I again thank you all for the lovely words. My little hennies love ya for it ^_^.
 

sparrker

Songster
8 Years
Aug 12, 2011
350
15
141
Baldwinsville, NY
I'm a firm believer in adding Calf Manna and/or some Diatomacious Earth into their feed.  DE will give them the protein they need and will start regrowth of feather quickly.  I have used this combination for a long time with a great deal of sucess.   I think it will help shorten the molt as well. The DE will also get you better egg production from the hen once done molting.

How much DE do you put into their feed?
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,455
18,037
876
Holts Summit, Missouri
Calf Manna can be a good source of protein and other nutrients but the benefits of diatomaceous earth (DE) are not well supported. Chemically DE has more in common with glass or sand than it does protein. DE is effectively indigestible.
 
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ladybirdb12

Chirping
7 Years
Oct 7, 2012
212
8
73
Is the calf manna, the same thing to add weight to horses?
I just got my chickens and they are molting big time, I use calf manna for my horses, so is it safe to use on chickens?
 

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