forced molting

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by peepsncheeps, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. peepsncheeps

    peepsncheeps Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 15, 2011
    how can i force a chicken to molt?
    i have a 4 year old arucana bantam who has not had a molt for 2 years. her feathers are almost see through now, tattered torn and have black stuff on the base of the quills. she does not lay anymore and im worried. no mites or lice are present and she has been wormed.
    so is forcing a molt at all posible and is it a good practice for a flock?
  2. goldeneggtees

    goldeneggtees Fluffy Butt Nut

    Mar 11, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    hmmm, not sure about it personally but I am very curious what others have to say. It's an interesting question.
  3. X2Farm

    X2Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Homer, GA
    Yes, its possible.

    Search for forced molt, here on BYC, or check out the Heritage Large Fowl thread, theres a few posts in there (somewhere) about forced molt.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Commercial operations force molts once the laying flock gets to a certain age to improve egg size and quality, so it can be done. I don't know exactly how they do it. A big part of it is light. They cut back on the length of light they get each day. A university professor that teaches Poultry Science said that even a pin prick of light through a curtain can be enough light to stop a lot of them from molting.

    I'm pretty sure the process involves stressing the flock too, since stress can trigger a molt. I don't know enough of the details to tell you how to do that, especially considering the dangers to your flock of stressing them wrong. I think I know just barely enough to be truly dangerous on this one.

    I don't know where you live or how much daylight or darkness you are getting, but you might try puttting her in a totally dark area for extended lengths of time each day to try to trigger a molt. Or if you have a light inside or out that is providing light for your chickens while they roost, you might put it on a timer.
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    I'm wondering if something else is a problem, if she doesn't lay anymore and she's only 4 years old. Some type of underlying health problem that could be effecting her general health. How's her diet? Does she free range at all?

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