Food during a molt

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AllChookUp, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. AllChookUp

    AllChookUp Will Shut Up for Chocolate

    May 7, 2008
    Frozen Lake, MN
    I have about 8 chickens who are going through an extended molt, which started before winter. Now we've had sub-zero cold, and it seems like it's extending their molt.

    I've had advice to turn off the timed light which is meant to extend their daylight - Not having extended light is supposed to help them get through their molt faster.

    Is there anything I should be feeding them? They get plenty of layer feed, oyster shells, and treats - I try to give them something with protien in it whenever I can.

    Anything that works well for you? I've heard dried beans works.

  2. gkeesling

    gkeesling Songster

    Nov 24, 2008
    Hagerstown, IN
    I've heard of people on here give their chickens cat food during mold to help give them more protien.
  3. thechickenchick

    thechickenchick Born city, Living country

    Mar 8, 2008
    Eaton, Colorado
    I had the same thing happen! They should have been done about the time it got cold and they stayed in it for what seemed like forever! All of them! I tried everything suggested and nothing helped, they finally just started laying a couple of weeks ago. My advice, although frustrating, just have patience! Mine finally started laying when it was 30 below!
  4. Chicky Tocks

    Chicky Tocks [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2666.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Ru

    Oct 20, 2008
    Benton, Arkansas
    A pie tin of warm oatmeal

    Cat food (but mine won't eat that)

    Any leftover meat scraps

    Tuna Fish (they love this)

    Black Oil Sunflower Seeds

    These are a few of the things you can feed that boost their protien.
  5. wxdude99

    wxdude99 Songster

    Sep 26, 2008
    Montgomery Area
    It depends on what you want. Do you want them to start laying again as soon as possible, or do you want to give them a break? If you want them to start laying sooner, I guess you give them more protein. If not, you should probably just keep giving them what they normally eat. My chickens just came out of a 2 1/2 month molt/no-laying period about three weeks ago. It was a lot longer than I expected after reading posts in this forum. I decided to give them a break so I didn't give them any extra light or special food. I HATED eating store bought eggs all that time, but man that first egg tasted AWESOME!

    Here's something I was wondering. If you give them a break, will they lay more later? I've read on this forum that egg production drops off after two years. If you let them molt naturally, will it pay off when they get older? Does giving them extra light and protein cause them to lay less when they get older? Just wondering.

  6. AllChookUp

    AllChookUp Will Shut Up for Chocolate

    May 7, 2008
    Frozen Lake, MN
    wxdude - I want them to get over their molt, and THEN produce more eggs. So, it sounds like protein is the answer.

    BTW, I do occasionally give them a warm plate of oatmeal wiuth raisins and grapes mixed in for a treat.

  7. thechickenchick

    thechickenchick Born city, Living country

    Mar 8, 2008
    Eaton, Colorado
    Quote:It is my understanding that each chicken has a predetermined amount of eggs that they will lay in their lifetime. So by giving them a break you will make it so they are laying later in to their life but not laying more eggs. I would rather just wait and let nature do its thing, although, you are right I hated having to eat store bought eggs too!
  8. cybercat

    cybercat Songster

    May 22, 2007
    Greeneville, Tn
    Protien makes feathers and eggs. So during a moult you want to keep protien higher tham 16% more like 20%. How to do that cut out most treats and all scratch. Add dry cat food or buy a layer that is better than 16% protien. Purnina flock raiser is 20%. Remember if you do that cat food you might have to break it up depending on the shape. Also cheap cat food is good here as it is close to regular chicken feed. Dog food can be used as long as it is lower protien than 23%. Most is not. Grains are low protien soy higher protien. Whatever you do keep it steady do not give it one day and not the next. That will cause problems with feather growth.
  9. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    I bought flockraiser and mixed that into their feed. I haven't given them cat food, but I have given them extra protein. (turkey carcass and any leftover meat scraps, cut small of course)

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