It’s that time of year again; the temperatures are cooler, the kids are back in school, and pumpkin flavored everything has hit the shelves. While many of us welcome the fall and begin the process of decorating our homes with fall décor as soon as the cooler weather arrives, our chickens are beginning a much different process.
Every year, as the days get shorter, chickens begin the process of renewing their feathers. While going through this stressful process, chickens will stop laying in order to conserve their nutrients for feather regeneration. This process can take anywhere from 3 to 16 weeks to be fully completed, and it affects both roosters and hens. The duration of the process really depends on the chicken.
So, what can you do to help your chickens get through this annual process as quickly and painlessly as possible?
Feathers are 85% protein, and the process of molting and growing new feathers requires a lot of energy, so it is essential that you feed a high quality, high protein diet to your chickens at this time. Nutrena’s NatureWise Feather Fixer™, is a complete feed with high protein levels, that provides the proper nutrients to help your chickens regrow their feathers as quickly as possible. Make sure that feed is readily available to your chickens and try to cut back on scratch and other treats.
As you can imagine, losing and re-growing all of their feathers is very stressful, so it’s important that you keep outside stressors away from your chickens during this process. Don’t introduce any new birds into the flock and avoid handling your chickens during this time as it can be painful for them.
Want to learn more about your chickens’ molting process? Check out this great video from Nutrena!