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How year-round nutrition can support a healthy moult

Andrew Fothergill, National Poultry Advisor at Farmgate Feeds gives his advice on supporting your flock during moulting season

As the days start getting shorter, hens begin their annual moult - the biological process of losing and regrowing feathers before winter sets in.

This process can occur at slightly different times for each hen and tends to last around six weeks. It is an important time for your laying birds to have a break as they conserve their energy to produce new feathers. You can support your flock through moult by ensuring they have a well-balanced year-round diet; this is the best way to encourage a healthy lay once moulting season comes to an end.

How year-round nutrition can support a healthy moult
You can support your flock through moult by ensuring they have a well-balanced year-round diet

Protein is a key nutrient to pack into your hen’s diet and this needs to be maintained when they moult. Just like in a human diet, protein supports growth, repair, and body building. The right nutritional balance in your hen’s main diet will support their egg formation when in lay, and then those same nutrients will be redirected for new feather growth during moult. If your birds take longer to recover and have a mediocre return to laying, this could be down to improper nutrition throughout moulting season and before.