10 Delicious Snacks to Support Your Chickens During Molting Season

Chicken Snacks

As the seasons change and summer turns to fall, chickens undergo a natural process known as molting. During this time, they shed their feathers and grow new ones. It’s a fascinating process, but it also requires extra care and attention to ensure your chickens stay healthy and happy. One way to support them during this time is by providing high-protein snacks that will help them rebuild their feathers and maintain their overall well-being. Here are ten delicious snacks that your flock will love!

What is Molting?

Molting is a natural process where chickens lose their feathers and regrow new ones. Feathers consist of high protein content, so chickens need extra protein during this time to support feather growth. It’s important to note that egg production may decrease or stop altogether during molting.

Molting typically occurs in late summer or fall when daylight hours shorten. The duration of molting varies depending on the chicken’s breed, genetics, and health. Regular health inspections should be performed to check for mites and other potential health concerns. Reducing stressors, like introducing new chickens, is also advisable during this period. Additionally, providing fresh water and a nutritious diet is essential year-round, but it becomes even more crucial during molting season.

10 High Protein Snacks to Support Your Chickens During Molting Season

1. Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled Eggs

Cooked eggs are an excellent source of protein for your chickens. Scrambled eggs are easy to prepare and can be fed to your flock. Remember to cook the eggs before feeding them to discourage egg-eating habits. You can also feed your chickens hard-boiled eggs, including the shells, which provide a good source of calcium.

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2. Leftover Chicken

Leftover Chicken

Believe it or not, chickens enjoy eating cooked chicken! If you have leftover chicken from your own meals, you can give the bones and scraps to your flock. They will happily peck away at the meat scraps and skin. Just make sure to remove the bones to prevent potential harm.

3. Fish

Fish

Fish is another protein-rich snack that chickens love. Fresh raw fish or cooked fish can be given to your flock. Fish is also high in healthy Omega-3 oils. Some chickens are even skilled enough to catch small fish from streams or ponds. If fresh fish isn’t readily available, canned sardines or tuna will also make your hens happy.

4. Shellfish

Shellfish

Similar to fish, chickens also enjoy shellfish as snacks during molting season. If you have shrimp, crab, or lobster for dinner, save the shells and scraps for your flock. They will relish the meat too, if you’re in a sharing mood!

5. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds make healthy treats for chickens. Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, either shelled or hulled, are easily accessible and highly enjoyed by your flock. Black oil sunflower seeds are particularly rich in healthy linoleum oil. You can sprinkle them on top of your chickens’ feed or offer entire pumpkins or sunflower heads as entertaining snacks.

6. Organ Meat and Scraps

Organ Meat and Scraps

While organ meat might not be popular among people, chickens eagerly devour it. If you butcher meat yourself or know someone who does, consider using the organ meat and scraps as a nutritious snack. You can feed chicken meat scraps and organs either cooked or raw, as long as the raw scraps are fresh and handled properly.

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7. Sea Kelp

Sea Kelp

Sea kelp is an excellent supplement for chickens during molting season and throughout the year. It is high in protein, essential vitamins, and minerals that benefit the overall health of your flock. You can purchase dried kelp supplements and add them to your chickens’ regular dry feed at a 1-2% ratio.

8. Bugs

Bugs

Chickens have a natural affinity for bugs and insects. If you allow your chickens to free-range in your garden, they will happily hunt and eat grasshoppers, pillbugs, earwigs, crickets, worms, and grubs. These protein-rich snacks are not only a treat for your flock but also beneficial for your garden. If fresh bugs aren’t readily available, you can buy freeze-dried bugs and mealworms as an alternative.

9. Sprouted Legumes

Sprouted Legumes

Sprouting beans and legumes is a fantastic way to provide extra protein for your chickens. The sprouting process enhances the bioavailability of nutrients and minerals, making them easier for your chickens to absorb. Beans and legumes such as mung beans, peas, and lentils can be sprouted within a couple of days.

10. Chick or Broiler Feed

Chick or Broiler Feed

During molting season, it may be beneficial to increase the protein content in your chickens’ feed. Most commercial layer feed contains around 16% protein, but you can boost it by mixing chick feed or broiler feed (which contain about 18-20% protein) with their regular feed. Alternatively, you can provide chick or broiler feed as a separate snack throughout the molting season.

By treating your chickens to these high-protein snacks, you’ll be supporting their feather regrowth and overall health during molting season. Observing your flock enjoy these nutritious treats will bring you joy while ensuring they have the energy they need to be at their vibrant best! To learn more about caring for your chickens and discover other helpful resources, visit Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ.

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