Molting

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 2overeasy000, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. 2overeasy000

    2overeasy000 Chillin' With My Peeps

    250
    1
    111
    Dec 1, 2010
    This is the second year with our first round of Laying Hens. It looks like most of them are molting right now. My question is how long does it usually take for them to stop molting/feather out again, and most of all, start laying eggs again?
    Also, is there anything that we can feed them to assist or speed up the restart in egg production?
    Right now they get:
    All the Layer feed they want (16 %)
    Some cracked corn and scratch grain, at times
    All of our vege and fruit scraps, almost daily

    Thanks for any info.
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    115
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    The amount of time it takes a hen to molt depends on the individual hen. Some are fast molters - those are usually the ones you see that drop all their feathers at once; others go through a barely noticable molt that goes on for months. A few rare hens don't stop laying through their molt. I have one of those.

    Chickens need high protein to grow new feathers. You can achieve that by switching to a higher protein feed and offering treats that are high in protein - cooked eggs, some cat food, cheese, yogurt, etc. Think about what's high in protein you like to eat. Chances are the hens will like it too.
     
  3. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,042
    62
    221
    Jul 30, 2008
    Missouri
    Gritstar is dead on.

    I offer three or four handfulls of dry cat food in the evening during the molt. It's 30% protien and the hens barely let it hit the ground and they have gobbled it up. I just buy the generic brand at any of the discount stores.
     
  4. 2overeasy000

    2overeasy000 Chillin' With My Peeps

    250
    1
    111
    Dec 1, 2010
    Thanks for the quick response. I will bump up their protein. Would a bag of Flock Raiser help(I think it is 20%)?
     
  5. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,042
    62
    221
    Jul 30, 2008
    Missouri
    Quote:yes
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by