Help Your Chicks Grow Healthy Feathers

How Do Feathers Grow?

Help Your Chicks Grow Healthy Feathers
When raising chicks, you want to be sure that they grow healthy feathers. Feathers provide temperature control and protection from the elements. They are essential to your chickens being healthy and are often an indicator of when they are not. In order to help our chicks grow healthy feathers, we must first understand how feathers grow. Feathers are made of beta-keratin much like human hair and fingernails. Also like hair and fingernails, they are essentially dead structures that cannot repair themselves when damaged. Once a feather has fully grown in, its growth stops until it is molted out in preparation for a new feather to take its place. Once the previous feather is out, this molt happens as follows: Each new feather grows from a small outgrowth of skin called the papilla. As feathers mature, their tips get pushed away from the papilla, where the newest parts of the feather

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