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The Best Plant-Based Protein Smoothie for Molting Chickens

There are many plants that contain beneficial protein for molting chickens, so why not blend them up into a delicious plant-based smoothie for them.

Chickens drop their feathers during their annual molting period to grow in nice, new feathers before the cold weather sets in each winter.

Because feathers are almost entirely made up of protein, adding a bit of extra protein to your molting chickens diet during the fall isn’t a bad idea. 


The Best Plant-Based Protein Smoothie for Molting Chickens

Although the fall molt is completely natural and you technically don't need to do anything, giving your flock a little extra protein can help them grow back their feathers a bit faster.

Because growing in the new feathers takes so much energy and so many nutrients, hens stop laying for the most part while they're molting. They are uncomfortable and out of sorts, so they will enjoy a delicious snack - especially one that's packed with protein! 


Added Protein for Molting Chickens

Some people like to switch back to a grower feed during the molting season since it has more protein than the layer feed. Others will supplement their molting chickens’ diet with meat scraps, grubs or mealworms or other dried insects, scrambled eggs, or fish.

But what if your family doesn’t eat meat?

Or what if you aren’t comfortable feeding your chickens meat (although by nature chickens are omnivores and will happily gobble down all kinds of “meat” including mice, lizards, small birds, snakes, and toads.) 


Plant-Based Sources of Protein for Molting Chickens

Fortunately, there are lots of sources of plant-based protein that your chickens will love and will help them grow in beautiful, glossy new feathers. Many herbs and weeds contain lots of protein – and even grass is packed with it.

If your chickens free range, likely they’re getting enough plant protein on their own. If your chickens are penned up, of course, you can offer your chickens fresh herbs and weeds free-choice or dried herbs mixed into their feed.


The Best Plant-Based Protein Smoothie for Molting Chickens

Or you can whip up a protein smoothie for your chickens! What I like about making them smoothies is that by adding water, you're keeping them hydrated - which is super important. 

You can save the water when you hard-boil eggs and use that instead of plain water for some extra calcium in the smoothie, and if you have leftover vegetable-cooking water, you can even use that in place of the plain water for a bigger nutrient boost.

I like to harvest all of my herbs from my raised bed herb garden just before the first frost, drying some to add to my chicken’s feed through the winter and making smoothies out of the remaining fresh herbs!



How to Make a Plant-Based Protein Smoothie for Molting Chickens

I don’t really follow any set recipe; I just put handfuls of whatever I’ve got on hand into my food processor with a bit of water and then puree it all together. 

Choose from this list of protein-packed veggies, weeds, and herbs. Choose as many sources of plant protein from the following list as you have available. 


List of Plant-Based Sources of Protein


Herbs
  • Basil
  • Chervil
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Marjoram
  • Mint
  • Oregano 
  • Parsley
  • Tarragon
Weeds
  • Chickweed
  • Clover
  • Dandelion greens
  • Duckweed
  • Nettle
Vegetables
  • Alfalfa
  • Broccoli
  • Collards
  • Kale
  • Spinach Swiss Chard

Add the plants to your blender or food processor, adding enough water until the mixture is pureed into a soupy smoothie. 


Offer free-choice to your molting chickens in a bowl, garnished with some black oil sunflower seeds or unsalted nuts, if desired. They’re both a wonderful source of protein as well!

If you liked this idea for your molting chickens, you might also enjoy my recipes for Energy Bites Snacks, Peanut Butter Seed Cakes and Molt Busting Granola Bites



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