Hens stuck in molt

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by UnlabeledMama, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. UnlabeledMama

    UnlabeledMama Chirping

    Oct 9, 2012
    Western North Carolina
    I still have hens stuck in molt and of course that means egg production is low. What are ways I can help? I've looked for Nutrena Feather Fixer, but I live in a small town and only have one feed store and Tractor Supply and neither carry any. Any other thoughts? My one RIR's breast looks so cold and bare!

  2. HS Pye

    HS Pye Chirping

    Sep 13, 2013

    You could try supplementing a some oats in their feed. Oats are known to quicken feather growth and quality. (And no, oats will not bloat their crops till they explode. That was a myth created by people who just assumed the idea)

    HS Pye
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Oats won't help. They need extra protein. Feathers are mostly protein. Feed them all the protein scraps you can - meat, cooked eggs, mealworms, etc.
  4. HS Pye

    HS Pye Chirping

    Sep 13, 2013

    From personal experience, oats help alot with our chickens molts.

    HS Pye
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    A pretty simple fix that many have found to be easy and free to do to amp up your feed's nutritional value and also your flock's absorption of the available nutrients is to ferment your feed. There are a couple very large threads here, one in the feed and water section and another in the meat bird section, that are very active and where many people are doing this and can answer your questions about it.

    It's a great way to get some quick molt recovery and health for your flock....here are a list of the advantages of doing this very simple thing:


    Climate changes that dictate a need to keep FF at a temp that promotes good fermentation. (If done in bulk quantities, it keeps very well in weather that is at freezing and below freezing temps, though slower to metabolize)
    Cannot be dispensed in continuous feeding type feeders.
    Five minutes more time needed to replenish feed bucket on days when this is necessary...on other days, no more time is spent on feeding than if feeding dry feeds. Say, once a week, a person would spend 5 extra minutes.
    Equipment changes that require minimal, if any, expense. Those already feeding in troughs need make little change. Buckets are often found free at local delis and restaurants.


    Increases protein usage by 12%(according to scientific studies)
    Changes proteins and sugars to a form easily digested and utilized by a monogastric animal~amino acids.
    Less feed waste due to more utilized at the point of digestion and also from feeding a wet feed.
    Less feed consumed due to total nutrients increased in the feed~resulting in a decrease of total feed costs by nearly half.
    Intestinal health and culture increases, intestinal villi lengthen thus increasing total absorption area and blood flow to the intestines.
    Increased immune system function.
    Increased parasite resistance.
    Increased yolk size/weight.
    Increased rate of lay.
    Increased feather quality and growth, increased rate of molt recovery.
    Increased scale, beak quality due to increased nutrient uptake(some have reported correction of cross beak after using FF).
    Less undigested matter in the feces~resulting in less nitrogen in manure, less smell of the fecal matter, less attractant for flies, less ammonia production as there is less break down needed of waste material.
    Less water consumption due to feeding wet feeds.
    Less incidence of pasty butt in young chicks, faster weight gains, faster feathering of young chicks as well.
    Thicker egg shells.
    Less feed waste to rodent predation.
    No changes in winter warmth issues as core temps do not depend on rates of digestion of feed~no more than it does for any other animal or human.
    Increased mild flavor of eggs, removal of sulfur or "eggy" flavor.
    Increased mild flavor of meat, removal of "gamey" flavor.
    Increased overall health and appearance noted and reported with continuous use of FF.
    Prebiotics and probiotics available in feed increase resistance to disease/illnesses such as coccidia, e.coli, salmonella, flagella, etc.
    1 person likes this.

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