Molting

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mi2bugz, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. mi2bugz

    mi2bugz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My rooster is 15 weeks old and is starting to molt. So far it is just his neck and tail but i believe it to be the start of hard molt as his neck is almost bare. I also think at least one of the girls is starting. We are in temps between 50/60's during the day and 20/30's at night. I read that the chickens tend to huddle during a molt but is that enough heat for them (only have 4 chickens)? Should I use a heat lamp during the molt? Is that why they are choosing to sleep huddled in a corner and not roost?

    Did I cause the molt by taking away their heat lamp about a month ago (they hadn't been exposed to low temps when they went into their coop so I slowly lowered it to the natural night time temps so I wouldn't have to use the heat lamp incase of power outages)?

    Sorry for all the questions but I just started to panic that they are too cold while losing feathers.

    ~ Nicole
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Chickens usually go through a partial molt at 12-16 weeks, and again at 20-22 weeks, so hopefully they are just developing normally. As long as they have a draft free coop they should be OK in those temps even if they are doing the partial molts. Good link on molting ... http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/217/moulting-a-natural-process
     
  3. mi2bugz

    mi2bugz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great link. Thank you!
     
  4. mi2bugz

    mi2bugz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Should I get feed with more protein or just give them some scrambled eggs each morning? Any other good protein alternatives (not to sure about canned cat food after reading up on it)?
     
  5. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Sunflower seeds are another popular one this time of year, higher in fat and protein. Any sort of meat (mine really like hamburger), tuna fish, cooked beans, mealworms or other bugs etc. Are all your chickens 15 weeks old? If it is easier, you could just go with a chick or all ages flock raiser type food, they are usually 18-20%, higher than grower or layer which are often 15-16%, could actually feed that to everybody all the time and just have oyster shell on the side for the layers. I feed a 20% all age and cut down with grain if I want a lower % and offer oyster shell..
     
  6. mi2bugz

    mi2bugz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All are 15 weeks. So I could just go back to chick starter with grit and oyster shell in separate feeders during the molt?
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I too would recommend a flock raiser with 18-22% protein and oyster shell offered on the side for when they start laying.

    If they go outside, you probably don't need to provide grit.
     
  8. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    Good suggestions, but the any BOSS that I have ever seen are only 15-16% protein. They are definitely higher than most scratch grains, but not higher in protein than layer feed.
     
  9. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Sorry, should have specified them hulled or shelled, it usually runs around 25/38 protein/fat, TSC and other farm stores often carry them in 20 pound bags in the wild bird section. The in-hull ones are lower as you said, 16/25 or so.
     

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