High Protein Foods for Molting Chickens

25 Types of High Protein Foods for Molting Chickens: Tips & Info

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High Protein Foods for Molting Chickens For proper growth, chickens require important nutrients such as water, carbohydrates, and proteins. Layer feed containing 16-18% protein is appropriate for egg-laying chickens. When they molt after 18 months, they need at least 20% protein for 8 weeks to help with the molting process and feather regeneration.

High Protein Foods for Molting Chickens

High Protein Foods

MealwormsHigh in protein and critical minerals
CricketsHigh in protein, promotes feather development
Black Soldier Fly LarvaeExcellent source of protein, eco-friendly
EarthwormsHigh protein for maintaining healthy feathers
Garden Grubs and LarvaeHigh in protein, aids in feather regrowth
Sunflower SeedsHigh-protein, energy-boosting food
Pumpkin SeedsProtein-rich seasonal treat for molting hens
Flax SeedsProtein and healthy fats for feather health
Chia SeedsHigh in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids
QuinoaPlant-based protein for feather rebuilding
TunaOccasional protein boost for molting hens
Cottage CheeseCalcium-rich protein for feather growth
YogurtHigh-protein, good for feather renewal
CheeseProvides protein and calcium
SoybeansHigh-protein for maintaining healthy feathers
LentilsPlant-based protein source for molting hens
ChickpeasHigh-protein food promoting feather development
Split PeasMashed and cooked split peas for the molting diet
Baked TofuBaked tofu slices as a protein source for feather growth
MilkExtra protein source in small amounts for molting hens
Alfalfa SeedsHigh in protein and nutrients, aids feather renewal
Fish DinnerHigh-protein commercial feed alternative
ShrimpCooked and diced, protein-rich treat for molting hens
EggsScrambled or hard-boiled eggs for healthy feathers
Cat Food in CansHigh-protein reward for molting hens

High Protein Foods

Foods classified as high in protein have a high protein content. Protein is a necessary macronutrient that the body uses to make enzymes, and hormones, build and repair tissues, and move nutrients throughout the body. In addition, protein is essential for strong bones and a robust immune system.

High protein foods include a wide range of foods, such as dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese), eggs, legumes (beans, lentils, peas), nuts and seeds, and soy products (tofu, tempeh, edamame). Meat (beef, pig, chicken, turkey, lamb, fish, and shellfish) is also included in this group.

To satisfy your daily protein requirements and promote general wellbeing, make protein-rich meals a priority at every meal and snack. Think about lean protein sources, eggs, almonds, seeds, protein powder, and side dishes high in protein.

Types of High-Protein Foods for Molting Chickens

It is critical to feed molting hens high-protein diets to help them grow new feathers and stay healthy during this process. Here is a list of 25 high-protein meals that are appropriate for molting chickens:

1-Mealworms: Mealworms are a favorite among hens because they are high in protein and supply critical minerals during molting.

High Protein Foods for Molting Chickens

2-Crickets: Crickets, whether live or dried, are high in protein and provide a crunchy treat that promotes feather development.

High Protein Foods for Molting Chickens

3-Larvae of the Black Soldier Fly: These larvae are an excellent source of protein and a sustainable solution that is also eco-friendly.

4-Earthworms: These protein-rich natural treats promote foraging and healthy feather renewal.

High Protein Foods for Molting Chickens

5-Grubs: Garden grubs and larvae are high in protein and can help birds recover from feather loss.

6-Seeds of Sunflower: Sunflower seeds are a high-protein, energy-boosting food that hens like.

High Protein Foods for Molting Chickens

7-Seeds from pumpkins: Pumpkin seeds are a protein-rich treat for molting hens that are both seasonal and healthy.

8-Flax Seeds: Flax seeds, a source of protein and healthy fats, enhance feather health and overall well-being.

9-Chia Seeds: Chia seeds, which are high in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids, promote feather development and vitality.

10-Quinoa: Cooked quinoa contains plant-based protein, which aids in the rebuilding of chicken feathers.

11-Tuna: For molting hens, canned tuna in water gives an occasional protein boost.

12-Cottage Cheddar: A calcium-rich protein that promotes feather growth when molting.

13-Yogurt: Plain, unsweetened yogurt is high in protein and good for feather renewal.

14-Cheese: Small quantities of cheese provide protein and calcium to molting hens.

15-Soybeans: Cooked soybeans are high in protein and help to maintain healthy feathers.

16-Lentils: Lentils, both mashed and cooked, provide a plant-based protein source for molting hens.

17-Chickpeas: Cooked chickpeas are a high-protein food that promotes feather development.

18-Peas Split: A molting chicken’s diet should include mashed and cooked split peas.

19-Tofu Bake: Small baked tofu slices provide a protein source for feather growth.

20-Milk: A tiny amount of milk can be given to molting hens as an extra protein source.

21-Alfalfa Seeds: Alfalfa sprouts, which are high in protein and nutrients, aid in feather renewal.

22-Fish Dinner: A high-protein commercial feed alternative that is beneficial to molting hens.

23-Shrimp: Shrimp, cooked and diced, is a wonderful protein-rich treat for molting chickens.

24-Eggs: Scrambled or hard-boiled eggs are high in protein and aid in the growth of healthy feathers in hens.

25-Cat Food in Cans: Some cat meals are high in protein and can be used as a reward during the molting process.

The Importance of Protein for Chickens

Protein is an essential nutritional component for hens, and it plays an important role in their general health and production. It is a component of tissues, feathers, and important physiological processes. Protein promotes healthy development in early chicks and is essential for egg production in laying hens.

Protein also helps with muscle maintenance, feather health, and a strong immune system. Chickens are normally provided a well-balanced diet that comprises commercial poultry feed and supplemental protein sources to fulfill their unique protein demands. Maintaining robust and prolific flocks requires a proper protein intake.

Protein-Rich Sources For Chickens

FoodProtein Content (%)
Sunflower Seeds20-25%
Black Soldier Fly Larvae35-40%
Fish Meal60-70%
Pumpkin Seeds25-30%

How to High Protein Foods for Molting Chickens?

Step 1: Assess the Condition of Your Chickens

Examine your hens to see if they are in the molting stage. Check for feather loss and the presence of pin feathers.

Step 2: Collect Free Protein Sources

Collect free protein sources in your environment. This can contain food crumbs, old yogurt, cottage cheese, and even bones from previous meals. You may also use logs and timber that you received from Craigslist or local free pages.

Step 3: Establish a Feeding Station

Set up a feeding station anywhere in the chicken run or coop. This is where you will offer your hens with free protein sources.

4 Step: Rotate Logs or Wood

Fill the feeding station with logs or bits of wood. These logs attract macroinvertebrates like earthworms, centipedes, roly polies, slugs, and snails.

Step 5: Allow the Chickens to Feast

Allow your hens to use the logs or wood to access the food station. The amount of protein-rich macroinvertebrates in the logs will attract them. The logs also serve as enrichment for your chickens.

Step 6: Maintain and rotate

To provide a fresh supply of protein-rich food, rotate the logs or wood in the feeding station every day or as needed. This enables for the regeneration of macroinvertebrate populations.

Step 7: Provide Additional Protein Sources

To boost their nutrition during molting, continue to feed other protein sources such as kitchen scraps, expired dairy products, and leftover bones from meals in addition to the logs.

Step 8: Maintain Consistent Care

Continue to give fresh water, a balanced feed, and access to a dust-bathing place for your hens.

Step 9: Monitor Feather Growth

Keep track of your hens’ molting progress. New feathers should begin to grow in, and they should progressively become less scraggly.

Step 10: Keep Your Chickens Warm

Your hens will be better able to remain warm in the autumn and winter months as new feathers come in.

Plant-Based Protein Sources for Your Chicken

High Protein Foods for Molting Chickens

Certainly, here’s a list of plant-based protein sources to consider for your chicken, along with an estimate of their protein level per 100g:

FoodProtein (per 100g)
Soybeans (roasted)36-40g
Sunflower Seeds20-25g
Pumpkin Seeds25-30g

How Do You Increase Protein in Chickens?

When winter hits or you observe your hens molting, you’ll want to increase the protein in your flock, but how do you go about doing so?

Here are some simple ways to ensure that your flock gets the extra nutrition it requires.

1-Allow Your Chickens to Run Free

Free ranging your hens guarantees that your flock gets enough nourishment when molting. They consume all bugs and goodies that they come across.

2-Allow Your Chickens to Assist You in the Garden

Unfortunately, chickens enjoy tearing up the garden, but when you need them to work in the garden, they come in handy. Clean up the garden and stir the dirt with your sheep. They’ll consume a variety of tasty bugs and greens.

3-Provide Chick Feed

If your hens want additional protein, you may feed them chicken feed, which has more protein than layer feed. You don’t want to completely replace meat with chick feed; instead, use it as a special meal or treat for a limited period.

4-Provide Additional Protein Sources

Chickens are high in protein and make excellent snacks when required. It is critical that you do not overfeed these to your flock and that you do not feed them high protein all year. Overweight hens are undesirable because they have a variety of health issues.

5-Reduce Carbohydrates and Scratch

If you can’t locate alternative protein sources for your hens for any reason, cease supplementing with kitchen leftovers like bread and cereal. You should also get rid of chicken scratch.

Because chickens are voracious feeders, you should reduce carbohydrates and start from scratch. They won’t consume their layer feed if they fill up on carb-based snacks and scratch.

What are some high protein grains for chickens?

Proteins are required. Proteins are crucial for chicken health and production, and grains such as wheat, oats, and barley can help satisfy their protein requirements. Wheat, for example, is a good choice because it contains about 13% protein. Notably, wheat has more protein per gram than maize, making it a popular choice in poultry diets.

Oats are another high-protein grain with a protein level ranging from 11% to 14%, providing hens with both protein and dietary fiber, both of which are good to their digestive health. Furthermore, barley, which contains roughly 11.5% protein, is a wonderful supplement to your chicken’s meal.

What distinguishes barley is its high fiber content, which promotes good digestion in hens and contributes to their overall well-being. Incorporating a variety of these protein-rich grains into your chicken’s diet ensures that they have a well-balanced and nutritious diet, keeping them healthy and productive.


In conclusion, providing high-protein diets to molting hens is critical for good feather regeneration and general well-being. A well-balanced diet rich in key nutrients helps the molting process go more smoothly and successfully. During this stage, catering to their dietary needs results in happier and healthier hens.

Most Frequently Asked Questions!

Q1: Why is protein important for molting chickens?

Protein is required for feather development. During molting, chickens lose and regenerate feathers, which necessitates the consumption of more protein.

Q2: What are the best sources of high protein for molting hens?

Mealworms, crickets, black army fly larvae, eggs, and different seeds such as sunflower, pumpkin, and flax seeds are all excellent sources.

Q3: Can I feed my chickens regular layer feed during molting?

While standard layer feed is plenty for egg-laying hens, it may not be sufficient for molting birds. Consider consuming high-protein supplements.

Q4: How long does the molting process typically last?

Molting normally takes 8 weeks, during which time hens require more nutrition to sustain feather regeneration.

Q5: Are there any foods to avoid during molting?

Low-protein treats and diets high in salt or sugar should be avoided since they will not effectively stimulate feather formation during molting.

Q6: How can I ensure my chickens get the right amount of protein during molting?

You may give them a variety of high-protein meals, alter their diet, and explore specially prepared feeds with higher protein content.

Q7: Can I feed my chickens canned cat food as a protein source?

Yes, certain cat meals are high in protein and can be given as a treat for molting hens on occasion, but be sure it’s unseasoned and doesn’t include any ingredients that are hazardous to chickens.

Q8: Are there plant-based protein options for molting chickens?

Plant-based protein sources for feather regeneration include quinoa, lentils, tofu, and different seeds.

Q9: How can I tell if my chickens are getting enough protein during molting?

Keep an eye on their feather renewal and overall health. Consider boosting their protein intake if feathers grow in slowly.

Q10: Can I mix different high-protein foods in their diet?

Yes, combining a range of high-protein meals may give molting hens with a balanced diet and promote healthy feather development.

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