Forced Molt

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by elfkin2001, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. elfkin2001

    elfkin2001 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 29, 2008
    I am interested in the subject of a forced molt. We only covered it very briefly in my poultry breeding class and I wanted some more info on the subject.

    Would it really even be possible in a free-range situation?
  2. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 20, 2007
    It is my opinion that it isn't a good idea and borders on with hold water for hours from a gentle fowl that needs to drink often is not in any plans that most backyard flock owners have in mind.

    Backyard chicken owners take the high road....creating a better environment for their flock....producing superior eggs, while giving the hens a life the way God ment it to be.

    Convince me that a forced molt has any purpose in a healthy backyard flock?

  3. SterlingAcres

    SterlingAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 17, 2008
    Poconos, PA
    Forcing a molt? That sounds pretty inhumane.... [​IMG]
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    In my opinion, that is a cruel practice undertaken by commercial operations and has no place in a backyard flock. I'm not even going to keep lights on in the winter since it causes reproductive cancers in chickens to force them to lay artificially. Can't imagine what forcing a molt would do to them. And to answer your question, I dont believe you can do that in a freerange situation. Read about it here:
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2008
  5. elfkin2001

    elfkin2001 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 29, 2008
    I have no information on a forced molt other than the fact that it's used by commercial breeders. I appreciate the link and the info you have. The way my professor briefly explained it, it seemed to have more to do with lighting than food and water.

    I would never with-hold food or water from any animal. It goes against everything I believe in. If it could be done with a manipulation of light I may have considered it. I have several hens that I rescued who have damaged backs from being bred too much. I am trying to find a way to rejuvinate them and help kick start feather growth.

    Thanks for the info. [​IMG]
  6. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    Additional protein and vitamin E will help them regrow their feathers. You can feed them eggs (cooked - scrambled/boiled) and black oil sunflower seeds (with the shells on). You can use vitamin E pills (liquid capsules), break the capsule over food or treats. [​IMG]

    Definitely keep them away from any boys and in a stress-less environment. [​IMG] Lots of sunshine & ranging will do them good, but apply some sunscreen to their bare spots or they'll burn!
  7. Salt and Light

    Salt and Light Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2008
    Osteen, FL
    What is the purpose of forcing a molt?
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    To make them get it over and back into production fast. Some take a long time to molt. Forcing it makes it faster, but is very hard on the bird.

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