Orpington moult

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President Bartlet
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
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Orpington moult

Post: # 246278Post President Bartlet
Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:33 am

Our Orpington bantam is moulting heavily. Turns out orpies are quite small underneath all the fluff and feathers!

Anyway my question and concern is she's taking quite a bit of time to moult and I'm concerned she won't grow her feathers back in time before winter sets in.

I've heard it's going to be another harsh winter (thanks climate change), is there anything I can do to help her along, speed up the process and encourage those new feathers and what to do if she hasn't finished before it gets properly cold???

All answers/ideas gratefully received.

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The Riff-Raff Element
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Re: Orpington moult

Post: # 246279Post The Riff-Raff Element
Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:13 am

Feathers are basically protein. I have been told that upping the protein levels in the diet at moult can both speed things along and prevent the chicken's own biochemistry from raiding the necessary amino acids from the bird's muscles (feathers come first in the metabolic pecking order).

I believe fish meal was traditionally used to boost protien intake, but this comes with all kinds of environmental tags, and in any case modern commercial egg producers, free-range and the others, generally change out their flocks at moult anyway, so the question doesn't arise. I suppose crushed dried peas or soya meal would do equally well, though it should be remembered that chickens do need a little animal protein in their diet (which free-rangers get from picking on creepy-crawlies) for one amino acid they would struggle to get enough of otherwise - methionine, I think it is - which goes on to make another amino acid (cysteine?) which is particularly concentrated in the proteins that go to make feather keratin. You may be able to get a supplement for this one.

President Bartlet
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:46 pm
Location: Midlands UK

Re: Orpington moult

Post: # 246301Post President Bartlet
Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:24 am

Thanks riffraff this is really useful, will sort out some animal based protein for them.

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