Starting this piece, we would like to say all birds, including guinea fowls, chickens, turkeys, pheasants, and peacocks, molt.
Guinea fowls molt, and then they lose all of their baby brown feathers, and that’s when they get their adult feathers. This helps them have strong feathers that protect them during cold weather and also helps them during mating season.
You would be learning all you need to know about guinea fowls, how they molt and how you should take great care of your guinea fowls as they molt.
What time of the year do guinea fowls molt?
Your adult guinea fowl would lose their feathers by molting once every year.
There are some guinea fowl that molt two different times in a year.
They could molt in fall and spring.
Different things could make your guinea fowls molt.
These things include cooler temperatures and shorter days. These would trigger automatic responses from your guinea fowls, and it ends up making your guinea fowls molt.
As they molt, they shed off their old feathers and then get brand new shiny feathers.
Guinea fowls generally start molting at the ending of fall.
Their bodies are consciously getting ready for winter.
It could take several weeks for the molting process to start and complete.
There are rare times that the molting process might take till winter.
If your guinea fowl gets to complete their molting process before the end of winter, they will survive the cold season.
Related: Here is an article I wrote on can guinea fowls defend themselves?
Why does your guinea fowl need to molt?
As time passes, the feathers of your guinea fowls would start looking shabby, broken, and dull.
You would not notice this because you don’t always look at your guinea fowls.
If you check out a guinea fowl that just finished molting with her brothers or sisters that have not molted yet, you would see how different they look.
Your molted guinea fowl would look far better than your guinea fowl that hasn’t molted yet.
What is the Importance of Molting to your Guinea Fowl?
Your guinea fowl must have a fitted brand new set of feathers because when winter comes, these new feathers that are brought by molting will help keep your guinea fowls warm in the cold months to come.
When your guinea fowl gets their new set of feathers, they will become way more attractive to the members of the opposite sex.
Female guinea fowls would look more attractive to the male guinea fowls and vice versa.
As a result of their worn-out and broken feathers, your guinea fowl would find it difficult to get insulation against elements from the environment like snow, rain, and the wind.
It gets terrible in winter. This is why your guinea fowl needs to molt before winter comes.
All through the molting period, it breaks down and discards tired, broken old feathers, and it gives your guinea fowl some tight, shiny new feathers.
How long does it take for my guinea fowl to finish molting?
It ultimately depends on your guinea fowl.
Each guinea fowl has an entirely different time it would take them to molt.
The complete process could take anywhere from 3 to 16 weeks.
If you have sizable flocks, you would most likely have your female guinea fowls done in about three weeks.
There might be some of your guinea fowls that are slow when molting, though.
Older guinea fowls are slow to molt as a result of their age.
How does the guinea fowl molting process work?
The process for molting your guinea fowl starts from the head.
Then it reaches the breast of your guinea fowl and then their thighs.
Then it ends at their tail.
Your guinea fowl might look scattered all through the process.
But don’t you worry, before you know it, after the molting process is complete, you would like the new guinea fowl they would become.
Also check out this article I wrote on guinea fowls and eating ticks
How can you take care of your birds as they molt?
When your guinea fowls are molting, make sure you get them a lot of feed with high amounts of protein in it.
The feathers of your guinea fowl are around 85% protein.
To increase their molting speed, you can provide them with steady amounts of protein.
All through their molting period, give your guinea fowls game bird feed or a feed that has a very high amount of protein inside.
Increasing protein would assist them in losing their old feathers and re-growing new ones quickly.
Can you stop your guinea fowls from molting?
You cannot stop your guinea fowls from molting.
Molting is a natural process that every guinea fowl has to go through.
Molting is caused by the seasons changing and the rate at which daylight decreases, and the speed temperatures cool.
One of the best things you could do is wait for your guinea fowls to molt and get their brand new shiny feathers.
What does a SOFT Molt mean?
Your guinea fowls might experience hard molts and soft molts.
A soft molt refers to a situation where one of your guinea fowls might lose just some of its feathers.
You could see them looking ragged and worn as they miss only some part of their tail feathers but little on their skin.
What does a HARD Molt mean?
A hard molt would leave your guinea fowl looking like they went to fight a war, and they lost.
Your guinea fowl aloof seems like they’ve lost many feathers with vast parts of their skin visible.
Some of your guinea fowls might look bald after going through a hard molt.
You need to ensure that your guinea fowl coop is ventilated, draft-free so they could easily sit inside the coop looking tattered but warm and comfortable.
What does guinea fowl stress molting mean?
Stress molting refers to a period when your guinea fowls are stressed because of either a lack of water or food.
Changing the lighting or other external things from their environment could cause your guinea fowls to stress molt.
In the bird industry, stress molting could get induced by not giving guinea fowls water and food and changing the guinea fowls’ lighting to molt intentionally.
The reason intentional stress molting is done is to make sure the guinea fowls keep supplying eggs.
It is a cruel method, and we don’t recommend you try this.
Guinea fowls molt.
When your guinea fowls are molting, they end up always looking worn and very tired, and their feathers look like they have been in violent conflicts with other birds around all day long.
After your guinea fowls have gotten their brand new feathers, they almost immediately start glowing with energy.
You should try and keep a very close watch over your guinea fowls.
There are feather pickers that might want to disturb them during their molting periods.