As the seasons change and the colder weather starts to creep in you may find that your birds start to drop off lay and look a bit scruffy. Don’t panic this usually means that they are going into a moult. This quite commonly happens about once a year, usually in the autumn months when the daylight hours and feeding time is reduced.
During a moult, the birds reproductive system has a complete rest from laying and goes through the process of shedding and renewing feathers. Moulting also helps the bird restore and build up its body reserves of nutrients again. Ensure that you supply plenty of good quality poultry ration and fresh water each day. Keep their environment clean and safe too.
It’s a good idea to pick your birds up and give them a check over. Check the eyes and beak for any puffiness or discharge. Listen to their breathing to make sure there isn’t any rattling sounds and check the comb – this should look red and healthy (during a moult this may look paler in colour). Look all over the body feeling for any unusual lumps, scales on the legs and lice in the feathers. Also check the vent for discharge or messiness, and if needed gently clean and dry the area.
If you have any concerns about your bird’s health always contact your local poultry specialist or call our helpline on 01243 773363.