Collection: Poultry - Nutition, Health & Wellbeing
Why is my chicken loosing feathers?
It is perfectly natural for your chicken to lose feathers; this is usually down to moulting. A chicken’s first moult is shortly after they hatch and they will have two, sometimes three moults before they achieve their adult plumage. Thereafter, they will moult once a year, usually in early autumn although this can be dependent on the amount of daylight available. An early moult, or perhaps an interim small moult, can be triggered by a sudden change in the daylight hours or temperature, even in the summer. Typically, as the daylight hours shorten a chicken’s metabolic body clock changes – they eat less and they start to moult.
Some chickens will experience a gradual moult, replacing feathers progressively, working down the body from head to tail, whereas others (the best layers can often be the heavier moulters) can experience a ‘total feather-drop’ and be virtually naked, which can look alarming.
During a moult they are likely to look withdrawn, paler in the face, comb and wattles and will very likely stop laying eggs as feather regrowth will take up all of the available nutrients, so it is essential to support them through this difficult period with extra care and high-quality nutrition and supplementation.
Nettex Vit Boost Tonic is packed full of Vitamins and Biotin to support feather regrowth.
What can I give my chicken to help grow new feathers?
During moult, chickens can become anaemic and the moult itself can put a strain on the immune system which can cause them to look tired and even stop laying. Nutritional supplementation of Biotin and other essential vitamins is key during moult to support them through their change into their new winter wardrobe! Nettex Vit Boost Tonic is packed full of Vitamins and Biotin to support feather regrowth. Protein is also essential to growing healthy new feathers, The Chicken Whisperer suggests that you may wish to switch the flock onto growers pellets during this time which tend to be higher in protein. Top tip: remember to handle your chickens less frequently during moult to allow their new feathers to grow without disruption and to minimise stress.
How do I help my chickens avoid heat stress?
Chickens are very susceptible to overheating. At 105 degrees, their body temperature is much higher than ours; they are unable to sweat and so have to cool themselves down by drinking, panting, fanning out their feathers and seeking shade. In hot weather, ensure your chickens have access to shade and provide plenty of fresh, cool water. You can also pop a frozen bottle of water into their drinker to keep the water cool. Throughout the summer, it is essential to support your flock with appropriate nutrition and supplementation to maintain optimum health, support the immune system and help prevent stress. Add Nettex Vit Boost Tonic to your chicken’s water, this contains essential vitamins and minerals to support health and vitality, plus biotin which helps support feather quality and growth.