Molting how can I help ?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Sierra pachie bars, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. Sierra pachie bars

    Sierra pachie bars Queen of the Lost

    Nov 8, 2008
    I have several that are molting right now in my main coop. I had used lights but that didnt seem to help so I stopped using it and went with using mother nature. They are fed laying mash with some flax seeds mixed in their hanging feeder. I also feed plenty of fresh and dried fruits and veggies. How can I help them thru their molting ? And how long should it last ? A few have been molting since Oct. We are in California so it isn't overly cold, but we have been rather raining here lately.
  2. AngelzFyre

    AngelzFyre Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 18, 2007
    Pell City, Alabama
    I upped the protein in my girl's feed and gave more veggies and greens. We are feeding alfalfa hay to our horses so I get the top leafy parts and feed them to the hens. We were feeding Layena so I got Game Bird Breeder crumbles AND Flock Raiser and mix them together. Also added sunflower seeds and flax seeds to their scratch. They are just coming out of their molt and beginning to pick up laying again. Mine started in it's been almost 12 weeks now.
    Hang in there!
  3. jhm47

    jhm47 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2008
    Good advice from AngelzFyre. One thing I might add is to not be in a hurry. Hens work hard all year, and their bodies deserve a vacation to renew themselves. The molt is a perfectly natural thing, and they need this time to relace their old feathers and allow their systems to rejuvenate.
  4. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    My hens molted late this year for some reason and some have and are going through a "hard" molt. I have several that lost all their wing feathers and needed help each night to get on their roost.

    Keep feeding their regular laying mash and the fresh stuff. I would avoid the stuff like iceberg lettuce not really a lot of nutrients in it and you don't want them to fill up on it.

    I add black oil sunflower seeds and dry cat food to their diet during the molt. They need the extra protien for healthy feathers and in my experience it helps speed the re-growth.
  5. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    To answer the question of how long a molt lasts. I have found it is really hen specific and even within a breed there seems to be no real "pattern".
    Some hens will go through a very slow molting process and you hardly even notice they are molting and it will take a month or two and some will look like someone plucked them, they lose a lot of feathers all at one and the growth is even and realitively quickly.

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