One of my four chickens is molting...high protein diet?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by haleybz, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. haleybz

    haleybz New Egg

    Mar 23, 2016
    Hello- I am new to raising chickens and I have a question in regards to molting and diet. My 11 month old Ameraucana (possibly EE after doing more research :X ) has started molting as a result of stress after her move from the farm I purchased her from to my coop and then adding two new chickens. It started on her head/neck and now her breast feathers are looking patchy, light in color and thin. Other than this issue, she's a happy chicken with a good appetite (but not laying)! So I've been treating them to black oil sunflower seeds and mealworms once a day, in hopes to increase her protein..but I'm also reading that I can feed her cat food or a high protein chicken feed. It's tough to make sure that she's the one getting the high protein snacks/food, so would it be okay to feed all of them this high protein diet or is it bad for the chickens that are not molting? My poor girl is looking pretty rough so I want to do as much as I can to help! Thanks guys!!
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I would limit the sunflower seeds as they will cause them to get internal fat. It's best to feed a higher quality ration with higher protein, something like an all flock or non medicated grower, or game bird for all around good health. Cat food gave my birds diarrhea. You could feed them scrambled eggs or some cottage cheese.

    Some hens will go through a neck molt in the spring, if it goes further down her body it's a full molt which is unusual this time of year. I would also observe them to make sure no one is pulling her feathers out.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I like to feed a flock raiser/grower/finisher 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat. I do grind up the crumbles (in the blender) for the chicks for the first week or so.

    The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer. I adjust the amounts of other feeds to get the protein levels desired with varying situations.

    Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

    Animal protein (mealworms, a little cheese - beware the salt content, meat scraps) is provided during molting and if I see any feather eating.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by