Molting - oh they so ugly

Discussion in 'Nutrition - Sponsored by Purina Poultry' started by John-1948, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. I have some very pretty roosters of the Golden Phoenix variety and they just
    lost their 18" beautiful tail feathers [​IMG]
    What feed would help them through this rough time with a speedy recovery ??
    I have been supplementing their Free Range diet with a 3 grain corn mix.
    Should I switch to no corn and a Game Bird Starter feed ?
    Thanks !!
    oh, we are in Floridaaaaaaaaaaaa the Sunshine State.
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Normally, roosters do fine on 12-14% protein. But, feathers are about 90% protein so it makes sense that a protein boost during molt will benefit them.
    Your corn/grain mix is probably about 10% protein. Not sufficient to maintain a body, much less grow feathers.
    So yes, I'd switch to a higher protein feed temporarily. They probably don't need the game bird starter, just a feed around 18% should be sufficient. Keep in mind that if you are giving a 18% feed but half of the diet is corn, the result is 14% crude protein.


    I wanted to add that after molters regrow feathers they are sooo beautiful.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
  3. DrMikelleRoeder

    DrMikelleRoeder Chirping

    Nov 3, 2014
    Well, the good news is that you are in Florida so you don’t have to worry about battling with the cold weather while your birds are molting. The best thing you can do to molting birds is to keep their stress at a minimum. Unfortunately, losing feathers is part of the molting process.

    To help your roosters bounce back from their molt, I’d recommend feeding them Flock Raiser, which is a 20% protein complete feed, formulated for balanced and complete nutrition. To make sure adequate nutrition levels are maintained, make sure that the Flock Raiser is 90% of the diet. The remaining 10% of the diet may consist of supplemental feeds and treats. Grains are not adequate sources of protein and should not comprise a major portion of the diet, especially when feathers must be regrown.

    Aside from nutrition, there are other management practices you can do to help support your birds through their molt:
    • Make sure you offer plenty of space (4 sq.ft./bird inside and 10 sq.ft./bird outside)
    • Wait until the molt finishes before adding new members to the flock
    • Allow free-choice access to clean, fresh water
    • Offer plenty of soft, clean bedding
    • Minimize handling – the birds are very sensitive while feathers are growing
    • Provide warmth if needed

    I know it’s hard watching your roosters going through their molt, but this is a chicken’s natural version of refreshing. Once completed, expect your birds to be as beautiful as ever!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: