Sunday, September 29, 2013

Caring For Your Molting Chickens

It is that time of year again the weather is getting beautiful, children are going back to school, and yes, our chickens are molting. I put 3 pictures above. the first one is a hen saddle that protects their back while they are molting, so the other hens cannot peck at the new feathers. The second picture is the one that I purchased, the lady bugs, I know my Sprinkles will look so cute with it on. And the third picture are my girls, the grey one in the back was about 2 weeks ago, at the start of the molt, and  you should see her now, the poor girl, she is too embarrassed to take pictures. Lol..Just Kidding, I will post another one of her soon. Chickens, this is a time to lose their feathers and grow back new full beautiful, full, fluffy feathers. Losing feathers and re-growing them is called "Molting" and it occurs every year when the days get shorter.
During this time the chickens typically stop laying to build up their nutrient reserves. At this time it is very important to supplement them with protein. Cooked eggs, sunflowers seeds, tuna fish and peas. Some of the chickens will lose all the hair, and some only some. For some chickens it will take 3-4 weeks to grow in, and some can take 12-16 weeks.
This is also the time for the recovery process after her laying eggs for the other 11 months. The poor girls, I feel so bad when I go outside and it looks like something has gotten to her. It is not so pretty, as a matter of fact they are really ugly at this time, but I know soon enough they will get through this. Take a look on the internet about some supplements and food you can buy for them. Also, you can find some great tips on how to care for them.
Okay, it is getting a little colder here in New Jersey, I was just at the store and bought some really cute pink plaid curtains to decorate my girls nesting boxes so they can have some more privacy while laying their eggs. Besides it will keep them nice and warm while they are in there.

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