Molting care

Jul 3, 2018
372
514
177
Ohio
I have some hens starting to molt now. They are a little under a year and a half. I have read to add some protein to their diet to support regrowth of feathers. Any tips on best ways to help during molt?

An old school farmer said he adds dry cat food to his chicken feed to increase protein intake. Speeds feather growth and makes bigger eggs.

I just want to make sure i am getting them what they need! Thanks for the ideas.
 

Acre4Me

Crossing the Road
Nov 12, 2017
6,540
20,962
867
Western Ohio
What are you feeding them now? What % protein?

Yes, some will feed dry cat food. Some will feed fish food flakes. Some canned or cooked meats.
 
Jul 3, 2018
372
514
177
Ohio
I feed with Purina layena crumbles. The label states 16% protein. I do offer occasional treats including black oily seeds, meal worms, scrambled eggs, fresh vegetables and fruits and left over meats
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,394
602
Idaho
They don't need layer feed during molt, I keep mine on flock raiser with OS or crushed egg shell on the side, it's 18-20 % protein depending on the brand can be called something else and vary. They do come knocking on the door as they know the meal worms are kept in the house due to them figuring out how to help themselves to them , and don't have to do anything else for them.
 

Kayla's Lunch

Songster
Jun 9, 2018
493
736
227
Maryland
Some people also stop feeding layer feed. If they aren't laying eggs, they don't need that extra calcium. You could feed an all flock type of feed which would most likely have a higher percentage of protein and feed oyster shell in a separate container for them to eat as they need it.
 

EggWalrus

Free Ranging
Aug 14, 2017
2,249
5,446
607
Southeast Alabama
I feed them catfish feed pellets 35% protein ($12/50lb bag) once the weather cools off and the bugs go into hiding. Right now there's plenty of bugs/protein. The young ones look like little ballerinas jumping and spinning around trying to catch bugs in the yard. If you get your's some catfish pellets, make sure to get the sinker pellets. The floater pellets are mostly made of feathers. Seems like the higher the protein in the feed, the less they feel the need to eat as much.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
10 Years
Sep 13, 2011
23,520
39,449
1,106
southern Michigan
I feed a 20% all-flock feed with separate oyster shell, all year to everyone, rather than adding lots of other stuff. Protein supplements are expensive, and I'd rather just feed better all year. In a flock including different ages and roosters, it's worked best for me.
No catfish pellets sold around here!
Mary
 

EggWalrus

Free Ranging
Aug 14, 2017
2,249
5,446
607
Southeast Alabama
I feed a 20% all-flock feed with separate oyster shell, all year to everyone, rather than adding lots of other stuff. Protein supplements are expensive, and I'd rather just feed better all year. In a flock including different ages and roosters, it's worked best for me.
No catfish pellets sold around here!
Mary
They usually are sold at co/ops and farm feed stores. I don't think TSC sells them. Those fish pellets will keep them fat and healthy in winter when the foraging is poor. From reading the ingredients list, they seem to have about the same vitamins and minerals, but twice the protein.
Catfish pellets are all my neighbor feeds his year round unless HMC is out (very seldom) then he feeds them hog pellets.
 

MANNA-PRO

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