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Is There A Way To Induce Molting?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BeckyLa, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    I have a little hen with bad damage to her plumage as a result of massive over breeding (happened before I got her). She just is a year old and has not molted in the past few months. Is there a way I can encourage her to molt thus restoring her plumage to it's former beauty?
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Well... I don't think there is any good way to do it, but a factory farm way is to stop feeding them for like a week and so they basically starve their feathers off...
     
  3. Critter Crazy

    Critter Crazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2007
    Binghamton, NY
    I would just let her be. Her feathers will fix themselves. I would not Induce a moult. Let nature take its course, she will be pretty again.
     
  4. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

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    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    The only way to do it, is called "Forcing a Moult" and it is as brutal as it sounds. You keep the chickens mainly in the dark, with hold feed and water and they will shed their feathers, and regrow them. But I would just say give her time, lots of sun, access to fresh greens/bugs and all that other good stuff and she'll moult soon on her own.

    Oh, and I'm not sure about chickens, but when my parrots feathers start to look ragged, I give her a bath. Cleans her, and then she preens her feathers nice and tidy afterwards. Can you give a chicken a bath? If you can and its warm enough out, chances are she'd preen herself in the sun afterwards and maybe look a little less ragged. Just a thought.
     
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    If the feathers are damaged from rooster mating, i'm pretty sure they will be broken and tattered... more than just dull. A bath would fluff her up though.
     
  6. eggchel

    eggchel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Dec 26, 2006
    Both Coasts
    Here is some information regarding the induction of molting. Many factory breeds do not spontaniously molt. Molting is a natural process during which the birds, on their own, severely reduce their intake of food. That is why feeding is reduced during an induced molt..... to mimic the natural molt behaviors. Light is also increased and decreased in a shortened version of naturally occuring changes in day length.

    http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/poultry/408-026/408-026.html#L7
    http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/poultry/408-026/408-026.html#L7


    chel
     
  7. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    I had thought one of my chickens was molting but now she has stopped losing her feathers which was very minimal in the begining. I believe there are different degrees of molting.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2007
  8. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    Thanks everybody! I was hoping there was better way but I guess not. I'm not about to starve this sweet girl just for the sake of beauty (now wait, isn't that what models do?). I'll just keep plumping her up and let her molt on her own. Yes, the feathers are severely broken and missing with bald spots here and there. Hopefully she'll molt soon on her own.
     

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