From broody to molting...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bobbi-j, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    A couple of weeks ago, I posted about moving my broody and it not going well. (The chicks would have hatched today or tomorrow) Well, I think that former broody has now gone into a full-blown molt. Yesterday she looked good. Fully feathered. This morning - featherless patches all over her! No injury, no skin showing, just places where you can see her feathers are falling out. I had no idea it could happen that fast! I am giving them some sweet feed leftover from my horses, and some 27% protein cat food as scratch, hoping it will help them grow their feathers back more quickly.
     
  2. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    That is way too much protein to give them, I don't think sweet feed is good for them either or it would be in chicken feed. You should continue to give it layer feed or switch to chick feed, and throw some BOSS in the run.
     
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    That is perfectly normal. I have a chronic broody and that is the story of her life- broody until she molts and then back to being broody once she is fully feathered again. She's been doing this for over 4 years now. It is actually a good sign when birds molt quickly like that. It means the hen is a more productive bird than one who takes weeks to lose all their feathers. Theoretically she should get back to laying quicker thus producing more eggs over her lifetime.

    Extra protein will help her grow feathers in quicker, but watch out for the cat food. It is only to be given in limited quantities because it has too much sodium in it, which is toxic to birds in excess. Sweet feed is often fed to birds, but it would probably be more prudent to give her a feed designed for birds at this point. She is going through a molt which is very taxing and she is going to need the most balanced nutrition she can get. I often switch from layer pellets to grower formulas during molt because grower formulas have more protein and less calcium than layer pellets. The molting birds don't need calcium because they have probably stopped laying, but they do need the extra protein for feather growth.

    I hope she fills in quickly. Good luck.
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:Oh... I read on here (maybe in the Chicken Behavior and Egglaying section) about someone doing that. Sounded like a good idea at the time [​IMG]. I should clarify - I have a soup can I use as a scoop for treats and scattered 3/4 or so of a canful of each for my birds to peck at. So they really didn't get much of each, but if it's going to do more harm than good, I'll feed the catfood to my cats (if they'll eat it - they're kinda fussy.) They do have layer feed available at all times and they also free range. Layer feed is what I have on hand right now, so that's what they'll be getting.
     

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