What can i do to ensure a thorough molt?

Colorado Chick

Songster
5 Years
Sep 27, 2014
277
171
146
Hi all,
i currently have 8 hens. Five are going to molt this fall, the others are still babies. Two hens are going into their second molt, and three into their first.
Having been around birds all of kinds, i know that feather condition is of the utmost importance. But none the less, due to pecking, and them simply being hard on their own tails, and even mites that i didn't catch right away, their feathers are looking somewhat rough. One of my hens that is approaching her second molt, didn't even molt last year, so she is looking really rough.
so i want to be able to start their feather condition all over again, by encouraging a good heavy and healthy molt. Do you guys have any tips concerning that?
also, what do you do to deter feather damage from the pecking order? my lead hen (The best layer) and her sister (the second best layer) (Both are RSL'S) are hard on two other RSL's. oddly enough they leave my buff orphington alone.

please address both questions in your answers. thank you so much!!!!
 

QueenMisha

Queen of the Coop
Jan 14, 2015
6,022
961
316
Placerville, California, USA
They should be switched to a grower or broiler ration during the duration of their molt. Treats should be reduced. Other than that they'll molt on their own without anything else needed.

Feather loss and feather picking does not occur because of normal pecking order interactions. It's typically the result of stress, protein deficiency, or crowding, and occasionally just particularly bratty hens. You should examine their diets, environment, and housing for any issues, and apply Pick-No-More to any picked out areas. If the behavior continues, you should remove the aggressing hens to solitary confinement for 1-2 weeks before reintroducing them to the flock.
 

Colorado Chick

Songster
5 Years
Sep 27, 2014
277
171
146
Ok, thanks. Ill switch their feed when it comes time for molting.
They are on a good diet, and are able to be out in the yard everyday where there is plenty of room for them. Sonits just brattyness.
Thanks!
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
27,005
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
In addition, are they able to roost at night without their tails touching the wall of the coop? You might want to put them on a higher protein diet BEFORE the molt. Even better than that, consider switching them to fermented feed. that will allow them to better absorb the nutrients in the feed, and will cut down on feed waste, as well as reduce your feed bill by at least 25%, while providing them with better nutrition.
 

Colorado Chick

Songster
5 Years
Sep 27, 2014
277
171
146
In addition, are they able to roost at night without their tails touching the wall of the coop?  You might want to put them on a higher protein diet BEFORE the molt.  Even better than that, consider switching them to fermented feed.  that will allow them to better absorb the nutrients in the feed, and will cut down on feed waste, as well as reduce your feed bill by at least 25%, while providing them with better nutrition.


thank you. I will research fermented feed and see what I can do about it. Thanks again!
 

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