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Feather Loss

If your chickens seem a little scruffy or maybe even bald in patches, don’t panic. With a little love, a stress free environment and a few helpings of good quality food your pet chickens will soon moult and be back to their full-feathered selves.

Three moulting chickens roaming around the garden in search for some tasty worms
Three moulting chickens roaming around the garden in search for some tasty worms

What Happens When Your Chickens Moult?

Moulting is a natural and healthy process which usually happens once a year. It involves the shedding of old feathers and the replacement of healthy new ones. Most chickens will moult towards the end of Summer and may even partially moult their neck feathers again at another time of the year. The process can seem quite slow but will normally last between 1 and 2 months. If you have purebred chickens you might be surprised at how long it takes for them to moult as they usually take longer than hybrid hens, but believe us when we say that it is truly worth the wait.

Moulting Chickens Need A Healthy Diet

Moulting uses a surprising amount of energy and can tire your chickens out, so ensure that they get the correct amount of vitamins and minerals. You can introduce supplements into their diet to make sure that they get all the nutrients they need to stay healthy throughout this process.

Two beautiful Bantams searching the garden for some worms and grubs
Two beautiful Bantams searching the garden for some worms and grubs

Chickens need lots of protein when they are moulting to help their feathers to grow back. Vitamins, minerals and amino acids are the components of proteins and can be found in additional chicken vitamin supplements. Apple Cider Vinegar is also something you can give your moulting chickens to help them stay healthy. It is rich in minerals and will help your chickens to stay healthy.

Avoid Stressful Situations

When your chickens are moulting always avoid stressful situations like changing your chicken coop or introducing new chickens to your flock.

Another thing to remember is that when your chickens are moulting they are at a higher risk of contracting diseases, so avoid getting new chickens around this 2 month period.

Why Has My Chicken Stopped Laying Eggs?

Chicken eggs and feathers are very high in protein. When your chickens begin moulting they need all the protein they can get to help grow back their new feathers, so most of them will stop laying to help their moult go smoothly.

Customer Images

Chickens in run
Pin feathers coming through
My little warren is sending feathers everywhere! on her moult
Chicken sitting in dirt


Miné, 5 September 2021

Hi, is the any way of telling the difference between moulting and pecking? One of my bantams has lost almost all of her tail feathers and seems to be moulting but i cant tell which is going on…she isn’t keen to join the rest of the flock and has been keeping a distance, not eating much either. I haven’t seen any pecking behaviour but a worried I may have just missed it. We separated her but i just read that this isn’t advisable if they’re moulting as it can cause stress…? Any tips would be much appreciated. I will up their protein and vitamins now

Amy, 11 May 2020

Hi can it take longer than 2 months? One of my hens has lost feathers on her neck and has been without them for something like 4/5 months now (I should of noted down when it started)? And it looks like one of my other ones is loosing some now too! They both seem fairly happy, I have seen any mite type things on them, they don’t behave strangely, they’re eating well and both still laying although the one whose lost them for longer her eggs are quite fragile.

Suzie, 20 November 2019

One of my girls looks like she is having a very heavy moult, any movement and 100 feathers fall out. I hope its just a moult no sign of mites or pox. The problem is she's not eating. She goes through the motions, scratting and pecking but her crop is empty.... Knowing that moulting is very high in energy expenditure she's loosing weight and condition. What can I do to entice her to actually eat? She happily eats the Emeraide I give her so at least something is going down.....

Natalie, 2 April 2014

thanks for this advice I noticed a bald patch on my chickens breast and was beginning to worry.

Hilary, 19 October 2013

thank-you this was very helpful as I am a newbie owner of three gorgeous pekin bantam girls and have noticed in the past couple of wks lots of their feathers round the garden and in their house, was bit concerned as to the reason so this has put my mind at rest :)