Supportive care during molts?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by barbieszoo, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. barbieszoo

    barbieszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2010
    Stillwater, OK
    I couldn't find anything in the archives about this, although it's likely there somewhere.... I've read a lot about chickens getting sick/dying more frequently during molts. Is there anything that can be done/fed etc. to specifically support them during this stressful time?
  2. DelawareSilkie

    DelawareSilkie Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 8, 2010
    Some of my chickens are going through a molt right now. The best thing to do is make sure they have a low stressed environment. Putting more protein into their diet will help them as well, since most of the nutrients go into feather production. Lots of water is a must, and if they feel a bit down or lethargic, putting a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar into a quart of water (not sure about precise amount of ACV, someone can most likely give you a better estimate). That will pick them up. Some calcium, if they are fully grown out, doesn't hurt either.
  3. JLS

    JLS Love my feathered babies!

    May 29, 2009
    My Coop
    I have read that Black Oil Sunflower Seed (BOSS) is a great source of nutrience and protein that chickens need during a moult. I have been feeding my flock BOSS for a couple months now. And yes they can eat the whole seed, hull and all [​IMG] I will mix a little olive oil with some left-overs a few times a week to give them a little extra healthy fat too. My flock has been healthy and happy!
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I feel molting is natural and I don't do anything different. If a chicken sickens or dies because they're molting, they're not stock I want to keep. I have a barred rock who is going through the most extreme molt I've seen in my years of chicken keeping. Literally most of her body was bare! She's been active throughout, I do notice she's really assertive about getting her share of any treats. Thankfully, she's now got some feathering on her body, at least enough to tell what color she is lol. I think if they have a good basic diet and are healthy to start with, they should do fine. If you have an unthrifty bird to start with, yeah, she may have problems with the molt. But as I said, is that really a bird you want to keep?
  5. DelawareSilkie

    DelawareSilkie Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 8, 2010
    Quote:This is true. And if a hen is unsuccessful with a molt and have numerous problems, those problems can be transmitted to her offspring. It doesn't hurt to give them help with there molt, but if they're downright miserable and problematic, it might be a good idea to consider culling.
  6. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    I bump up their protein intake slightly, but that's it.
  7. FinsUp

    FinsUp Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 10, 2010
    lake oswego flats
    Quote:There is a molting photo contest going on in the "on-line poultry show" you may want to post to - some very pathetic molters! So sad and cold.
  8. Herdcutter

    Herdcutter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2014
    Northern Michigan
    Bringing this thread back to life.
    My 3 yr old hen is shivering!!!! I took a heat lamp out to her, a separate watering and feeding spot for her, and even cooked her some scrambled eggs. Guess what!? She's fine. IT was for me, not for her. I see her feathers are really coming on now, and I don't want to slow down her processes by giving her any artificial atmospheric conditions.

    You see, she's protected by the wind and has lots of fresh hay to cuddle with if the girl wants too. It's just me. I "feel" bad for her.

    OK so there is no heat lamp or extra water. But there is a higher protein food. Because food = heat. If she eats, she creates her own heat. All her basic needs are covered!

    **Stepping off my soap box. :old
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Yep, people get too worried about chickens being cold this time of year. My molting birds may be uncomfortable, but they don't require any special care because I feed a higher protein ration year round.
    Folly's place and Herdcutter like this.
  10. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    x2! I feed an all- flock ration, 20% protein, with oyster shell on the side, all year, to all my birds. Easier, and they do great, regardless of age, laying status, or sex. Mary
    oldhenlikesdogs likes this.

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