Questions about molting chickens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by the girls club, Dec 28, 2016.

  1. the girls club

    the girls club Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 15, 2013
    My one Golden Buff has started a hard molt. Or in the process of it. Saw just feather shafts and no feathers on her wings. So I know they need extra protein. I need top figure out high protein foods to feed them. So they can grow feathers back. I figure she will stay on the coop floor because of the feathers on her wings are missing a lot. So how could she fly up to the roost. How long does a chicken molt?.
    One of my questions is. If the other chickens have pulled out the shaft of the back feathers. Do shafts of the feathers grow back? Mine hasn't yet if it happens
    If I feed the chickens a higher protein chicken feed. During their molt and say one or two hasn't molted yet. Wouldn't the higher protein feed hurt the chickens kidneys?. I feel so sorry for the one that is molting. During cold weather I run heat lamps in their coop.
    Do the other chickens pick on the one that is molting?
    The reason I ask about the feather shafts. I had 3 mean girls and mine fought for pecking order. When mine were going for pecking order. They fought and pulled out the shafts of several girls behinds. I checked all the chicken to see if their might be another reason that this was happening. Nothing was on the chickens. The 3 mean ones have died off. I now have 5 that get along with each other. I believe 2 of the chickens that died flew up and hit the ceiling hard..Thier necks were broke. I think the other just died. Anyway the pecking order is finished. But I have several with bare bottoms. No shafts and no feathers. Thank you for your time.
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Are you sure it is molt?
    Can you post pictures of the bare spots?
    If you just raise the protein 2-4% you don't need to worry about it being excessive for the time being.
    Excessive protein is hard on the liver, not the kidneys. That would be excessive calcium.
    How cold does it get there? Heat lamps shouldn't be necessary, even when molting.
    I used to have Jaerhons that molted every January. They never had added heat.
    Running heat lamps is pretty expensive. You could probably buy organic eggs for the extra cost of electricity.
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I have a few that are still molting too. I always feed a ration with 18-20% protein year round. I wouldn't feed a higher protein than 24% without adding extras to cut the protein amount down some. I don't know if extra protein causes kidney troubles, I believe extra protein is just excreted and is a waste to feed.

    Feather picking with happen when hens are deficient in protein which can happen when they are fed layer ration and than extra stuff. Picking is also caused by boredom and crowding. If other birds keep pulling feathers out they don't always regrow quickly.

    Molting birds often feel unwell and can get picked on. Sometimes they stay by themselves and they stop roosting because it's uncomfortable. It's best to leave them be and give them places to hide.

    Bare bottom birds are often from feather picking. Smaller coops can cause birds to be more aggressive due to them not being able to work off energy during the day. So you may need to enlarge your coop and run and give them stuff to keep them busy.
  4. During molt feed grower grumbles.......The protein is at the right balance...Cut out all treats and fillers....Water, water.....They will bounce back quickly.....

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