Sorry Taylor Swift- Regarding our Molting Chickens

Right now, the chickens on the farm look frighteningly similar to the college freshman version of me on a Saturday morning. Droopy and ragged. The difference is that our birds have a valid excuse for their appearance. (One that has nothing to do with staying out till 2 am the night before.)

Our birds are molting. It’s a natural process that happens once a year when chickens rapidly shed and regrow their feathers in a period of several weeks. During this time, their bald patches and half grown feathers make them look like hell.

A perfect example of molting in one of our barred rock hens.

This photo is a perfect example of molting in one of our barred rock hens.  Several stages of new feather growth can be seen on her neck and chest.

Molting in our chickens has caused egg production to temporarily drop drastically. Currently, we are collecting one egg a day from our entire flock…… that couldn’t even sustain Taylor Swift.

This drop in laying is to be expected. Chickens need a high amount of bodily protein and other nutrients to produce eggs. During molting, that nutrients temporarily goes toward feather growth instead.

Empty egg boxes....

The nesting boxes are empty for now.

One of the signs I can count on to be able to tell my birds are losing feathers from molting (as opposed to being hen pecked), is the sight of newly emerging feathers (shown in the several photos below). To me, they look something like little bean sprouts shooting up from the ground.

kkk

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3 thoughts on “Sorry Taylor Swift- Regarding our Molting Chickens

  1. I came across your blog while trying to learn a bit about horses vs oxen (for no particular reason other than random curiosity). It’s inspiring to see such a beautiful and talented girl following her passion! Don’t ever lose that 🙂

    Like

  2. This blog is very helpful! I own a few chickens myself and your blog has answered a lot of questions about the ladies. 🙂

    Like

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