I confess, I’m a fair weather friend. When it’s cold outside, I’m not usually the one schlepping to the chicken coop or feeding the horses. Last week we had an unusually warm day; I bundled up and ventured to the coop to collect the eggs and say hello to the girls.
They looked horrible! Their feathers were half falling out, they looked like they have the mange AND they haven’t been laying as many eggs. I was convinced they were about to die. I asked Chris how long they’ve looked like that. He said, “Like what?”
So, I Googled half-dead chickens and found that they are molting. Apparently it happens every winter, but not until they are about 15 months old, so I guess they missed the molt last year. They need a special diet high in protein to help them develop healthy, pretty feathers.
We made an emergency run to Tractor Supply, and guess what – they sell food called Feather Fixer, especially for chickens while they are molting. That’s easy enough. Feather Fixer, combined with some lovely blocks of mealy worms for extra protein and our little ladies should be sprouting feathers all over the place in a couple of weeks.