Bedding your Birds in Cold Weather
November 12, 2015
Why Chickens Stop Laying Eggs and Molt in the Fall
November 12, 2015

What to do About Feather Loss

One of the first clues that your hens may be molting is the loss of their feathers. You’ll notice feathers laying around your chicken coop, and many of your hens will start to lose their feathers.

They’ll drop them maybe in the bedding or right outside in their run.

When you see these signs, and it’s the fall or winter season, you can be fairly certain that your hens are beginning to molt, especially if you’re not providing supplemental lighting.

This process can make your hens look a little ragged or unkempt, but don’t worry, new feathers will take their place eventually, often arrive in time for spring.

Provide Complete Nutrition During Molt

One of the best things you can do for your hens if you’re concerned about their feather production is to make sure you’re giving them a complete layer feed. At Kalmbach Feeds, we have a number of options including the 17 percent complete layer feed in our all-natural line. We also have an Organic Harvest line of certified organic feed. You can get that feed in a 17 percent protein as well.

If it has been recommended to you that you feed even higher crude protein feeds we have a 20 percent layer feed, which would be on the high end of what you want to provide.

You want to make sure you provide that complete layer feed to your birds at all times when they are molting. While they may not be laying eggs, it’s still extremely important that they’re getting a balanced diet so they can restore and rebuild the nutrient content they need to start producing those strong and nutritious eggs again.

Nancy Jefferson
Nancy Jefferson
Nancy is a poultry nutritionist with Kalmbach Feeds with a PhD in food and animal science from West Virginia University. She resides in Crown City, Ohio with her husband John, where they raise beef cattle and keep a flock of backyard chickens. Nancy enjoys watching her chickens scratching and pecking around and collecting fresh eggs to feed to her family. She is a regular contributor to the Feed Your Flocks blog, where she provides tips and information to help backyard poultry owners get the most from their flocks. Read more about Nancy