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How to deal with molting in poultry

By Grace Chomba

A hen undergoing through molting.

Molting is the process of shedding off old and worn out feathers to replace them with new ones. They will lose their features in a sequence from the head, neck, down the back, across the breast and thighs and lastly the tail feathers. After the shedding, feathers will grow back.

This a hard time for farmers keeping the birds for eggs production as it can lead to reduced egg production. This will only happen when they are not fed properly.

It can be a very dangerous period for birds if they are not being taken care of closely.

Birds may even develop disabilities like flying which make them more vulnerable to predators.

To deal with molting, a poultry farmer needs to adhere to the following practices:


The process can be contained by providing rich nutrients required. Just like humans, they will need a different diet. On this case, proteins will be a key nutrient to add in the birds' diets.

A farmer should add a high-quality layer feed together with extra proteins to their diet. Do not forget to add plenty of freshwaters.


Poor weather conditions can lead to unpredictable stress as their normal body functioning continues as they still need to regulate body temperatures and repel moisture. Ensure you provide them with plenty of clean beddings.

During the molting the birds may be highly exposed to predators hence the construction of safe shelters can encourage the birds to stay around the shelter. This will protect them from predators since during molting they can develop flying disabilities flying.

Keep the stress low

The other ways to help the birds get through the process is by ensuring there is no introduction of a new flock as it can cause death. Avoid handling them since the shedding of feathers is painful and increases stress. Offer enough space for the birds to rest and relax in private.

During this stage, a farmer should not panic since its normal for them to lose the feathers and stop laying eggs.

The only thing that can be done is to help them go through the stressful process by ensuring that they have all the resources required to facilitate the process. This includes proper shelter and feeding them with the required nutrients. The feeds should contain high-quality protein nature wise feather fixer.?

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