Is there a safe way to "encourage" a hen to molt?


8 Years
Sep 28, 2011
Hi! :) I have asked this question because I am concerned my favorite hen will go another year without molting. Last year she never molted and laid eggs right through winter without a break. The reason I am concerned is because her back is nearly feather bare thanks to my rooster, and she's missing a few wing feathers as well. She's always been extremely healthy and active and she lays an egg a day, constantly, even though she's about 5 years old now.

I would like her to take a break from egglaying, for her own health, to give her body a chance to rest and replenish it's resources. I know molting can be stressful for the bird, but she does not go broody and I'm not sure what else to do. I only want to encourage her to molt if there's a safe way to do it, I will not consider "forced" molting.

I've heard that you can clean the coop and change the nest box bedding as a way to throw off a hen's laying cycle. Would this be a good option, or is there a better one?

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