A small amount of extra animal protein in your chickens’ diet will aid your chickens in molting and enhance the appearance of show birds because chicken feathers are 85 percent protein.
The amino acids a chicken needs during a molt are abundant in animal protein compared to the protein found in grains.
Below are some excellent sources of animal protein:
- High-quality cat food.
- Fresh, raw meat. (Do not feed raw chicken meat since it can cause disease).
- Molting food (Sold by pet stores for songbirds.)
- Mashed hardboiled eggs or scrambled eggs.
- Sprouted grains and seeds (primarily alfalfa and sesame seeds)
- Mealworms and red worms
A hard molt, in which feathers fall out quickly yet take a long time to regrow, may signify a lack of animal protein.
Another indicator of a deficiency in animal protein is feathers that become brittle and break easily.
Feathers that become brittle and break easily are another sign of an animal protein deficit.
Every time you increase or decrease the protein in your flock’s diet by more than a couple of percentage points, do so gradually. An abrupt change may result in diarrhea and gastrointestinal upset.