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3 Tips to Help Your Chickens Moult

2 chickens feeding in a farm

Moulting is a natural and necessary process whereby chickens lose their old feathers and regrow new ones. Moult usually occurs in the fall when the days get shorter. It lasts about eight weeks and can cause a decrease in egg production. Here are three things you can do to improve the moulting experience for your flock.

 

1. Increase protein intake

Making sure your chickens get enough protein during moult is critical. After all, their feathers are about 85 percent keratin, the same protein that makes up human hair and fingernails. 

When you notice your chickens starting to lose feathers, make sure they’re getting between 20 and 22 percent protein to help support healthy feather growth. You can do this by purchasing a high-protein commercial chicken feed or supplementing their diet with foods like nuts, seeds, bugs and fish scraps.

2. Limit handling

During moult, the area where the feather shaft meets the skin can be very sensitive. Therefore, it’s best to minimize petting, holding and handling your birds as much as possible. It will also reduce the risk of transferring bacteria to the chickens’ skin. Since chickens dedicate most of their energy to moulting, their immune systems may be weakened, making them more susceptible to infection.

3. Reduce stressors

Reducing sources of stress on your chickens is vital when they’re moulting. Avoid changing your birds’ living quarters and provide adequate space to rest and relax. Furthermore, ensure you give your flock plenty of fresh, clean water. Avoid introducing new birds because it could disrupt the flock’s hierarchy and increase stress.

Moulting is a natural part of a chicken’s life and something you need to be aware of and prepared for to ensure your birds stay healthy and happy throughout the process. As always, a clean, well-insulated coop with good air circulation will safeguard them against contamination and disease spread.

 

Wholesale Farm Equipment and Fencing in Southern Ontario

Whether you have a small backyard flock or a large commercial poultry business, Ontario Wholesale Farm Direct has everything you need. We carry a variety of farm supplies, including chicken crates, plastic tubs, chicken wire and rubber floor mats. We sell high-quality farming equipment online, and we can also deliver directly to your farm.

Our team provides experienced, knowledgeable service to customers throughout southern Ontario, including Barrie, London, Brampton and Mississauga. Contact us with any questions you have about our inventory or your farming needs.

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