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Molting

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Well, fall is here and it’s molting time.  I’ve actually only noticed a couple of the Delawares molting so far, but they are looking rough!  They’re very quiet and keeping to themselves, as is characteristic of a molting hen.  As they lose their feathers starting at the head and working toward the tail, they regrow new ones.  This can be quite painful for them, the reason they tend to keep to themselves.  It’s best to avoid handling them if possible during this stage.  Regrowing feathers takes a lot of energy and nutrients, so hens will slow down or stop laying during this period, which usually lasts from 7-8 weeks.  These hardworking girls appreciate a bit of extra protein during molt.  You could provide this by switching to a grower ration, offering black oil sunflower seeds, tuna, peas, beans, or even cat food.  Within a few weeks, they’ll be fully feathered and looking lovely again!

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