I did a bit of online research in forums and through chicken blogs and found a few interesting facts about feather moulting.
* Most chickens moult in Autumn preparing for winter,
*Roosters become infertile while they moult,
* Hens usually stop laying because the protein used for making eggs is diverted into feather production,
* there are different grades of moulting - from bare skin to a subtle loss.
Though it is not necessary, if chickens are free ranging most days, you are able to supplement the protein intake of the chickens during the moult. You can do this with:
* fresh meat such as sausages, leftover BBQ, ham,
* cat food or tinned fish,
* layer pellets,
* meal worms (I am not sure if we can access these in Australia),
* extra worms and bugs from the garden,
* scrambled eggs
* high protein porridge
I have been very worried about the weight loss of Breanna during her moult. So I put together a special mash for her (and the others).
* 1 cup layer pellets
* 1 cup rolled oats
* 1/2 cup baby rice cereal
* 1/2 cup of sultanas
* 1/4 cup of other dried fruit (I used some dates)
* 2 raw eggs
* 1/2 cup yoghurt
* 2 cups of boiled water
microwave 4 mins
Allow to cool
I used vanilla yoghurt and so the end result smelt quite sweet. I was not sure how they would react but after a few curious nibbles most of the flock had a nice fill of the warm mash.
BTW our rooster, Silver MacGregor is moulting too!