Molting hens with a lot of missing feathers

Just like snakes shed their skin and dogs shed their winter coat -chickens too go through a molting process.  They shed their feathers which is a natural  process that lasts a few weeks and usually starts in the late summer or early fall when there is less and less natural light with each day.  During their molt, their bodies are working to produce new feathers and their egg production stops.  This can be a concern to new chicken owners who might think something is wrong with their birds.
Currently I have 8 poor little ladies all going through this and they are a sad sight to see.  I’ve tried taking pictures, but as if they know how hideous they look – they run from the camera.  Poor things… I don’t blame them, I’d be embarrassed too.

run hen run!

I wouldn't want my picture taken either!

On the bright side, there are a few things you can do with all of those feathers you find everywhere! A chicken’s feather is a full of nitrogen and can be added to a compost pile, or even dug into a garden bed.  Also think about collecting them and using them in your nesting boxes where the chickens can lay their eggs – once they are done molting!

Comments

  1. I always feel bad for the hens when they go through a molt. Besides looking scruffy, it must be uncomfortable. Feeling breezes in spots normally covered.
    Great tip on the feathers for composting.

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