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How often do chickens molt?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

how old are they when they start ? How long dose it last ? It looks painful from the pictures on this site . I had no idea .

two people , 4 dogs, and 29 chickens, on 10 acres in Perry, GA.
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two people , 4 dogs, and 29 chickens, on 10 acres in Perry, GA.
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post #2 of 14

I think some main factors in molting are when they were born, how much they eat, and the individual itself. Since my chicks arrived in September, they started molting a few weeks after we put them in their coop. They were about, 5-6 weeks at the time. How long it takes for them to molt can depend on that individual and/or how much protein they get. Feathers take up a lot of protein. Molting is one of the most stressful times for them depending on how hard their molt is. As far as it being painful, I would imagine it would be just like having your hair fall out unless another chicken purposely pulls it out. If they have a hard molt in the fall/winter and are almost bare, then you really need to make sure the chicken stays warm. I read on here that someone else's chicken took 2 months to grow back all of her feathers. Oh, and also, while a chicken is molting, they do not lay eggs.

Hope this helped! smile


Edited by Year of the Rooster - 11/12/08 at 1:50pm
post #3 of 14

Generally they go through there first full molt (other than losing chick feathers and growing adult feathers) the fall after their first full spring.   In other words, chickens hatched this spring generally won't go through a full molt until the fall of 2009.  Keep in mind this does not always old true for all birds, in fact I still have some spring of 2007 hens that have not molted yet.  Sure wish they would they look a little ragged.

post #4 of 14

Mine were hatched August last year.  I've had one or two losing some feathers now (within the last month)- one lost all her feathers on her chest, neck and tummy and the whole tail gone.


Edited by Wildsky - 11/12/08 at 2:01pm
Everything I say is fully substantiated by my own opinion!
BYC member #4418
http://cherylmercer.blogspot.com/
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Everything I say is fully substantiated by my own opinion!
BYC member #4418
http://cherylmercer.blogspot.com/
Reply
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by scooter147 

Generally they go through there first full molt (other than losing chick feathers and growing adult feathers) the fall after their first full spring.   In other words, chickens hatched this spring generally won't go through a full molt until the fall of 2009.  Keep in mind this does not always old true for all birds, in fact I still have some spring of 2007 hens that have not molted yet.  Sure wish they would they look a little ragged.


Very helpful! I wasn't sure when my Spring chickens would have their first molt. Thanks smile

4 Buff Orpingtons ~ 4 Ameraucanas ~ 2 R.Reds ~ 2 cats ~ 2 dogs ~ 2 gerbils ~ 2 kids and a husband

"Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.
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4 Buff Orpingtons ~ 4 Ameraucanas ~ 2 R.Reds ~ 2 cats ~ 2 dogs ~ 2 gerbils ~ 2 kids and a husband

"Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.
Reply
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Year of the Rooster 

I think some main factors in molting are when they were born, how much they eat, and the individual itself. Since my chicks arrived in September, they started molting a few weeks after we put them in their coop. They were about, 5-6 weeks at the time. How long it takes for them to molt can depend on that individual and/or how much protein they get. Feathers take up a lot of protein. Molting is one of the most stressful times for them depending on how hard their molt is. As far as it being painful, I would imagine it would be just like having your hair fall out unless another chicken purposely pulls it out. If they have a hard molt in the fall/winter and are almost bare, then you really need to make sure the chicken stays warm. I read on here that someone else's chicken took 2 months to grow back all of her feathers. Oh, and also, while a chicken is molting, they do not lay eggs.

Hope this helped! smile


This is exactly what I wanted to know and it wasn't even my question....I love this place! yippiechickie

Big Fat Hen Farm
Cindy, Wife to Big Russ, Mom to kids (ages 13,12,9), 6 daycare kids(23 months to 4 years), 19 chickens,  3 cats, 5 rabbits.
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Big Fat Hen Farm
Cindy, Wife to Big Russ, Mom to kids (ages 13,12,9), 6 daycare kids(23 months to 4 years), 19 chickens,  3 cats, 5 rabbits.
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post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daycare Mom 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Year of the Rooster 

I think some main factors in molting are when they were born, how much they eat, and the individual itself. Since my chicks arrived in September, they started molting a few weeks after we put them in their coop. They were about, 5-6 weeks at the time. How long it takes for them to molt can depend on that individual and/or how much protein they get. Feathers take up a lot of protein. Molting is one of the most stressful times for them depending on how hard their molt is. As far as it being painful, I would imagine it would be just like having your hair fall out unless another chicken purposely pulls it out. If they have a hard molt in the fall/winter and are almost bare, then you really need to make sure the chicken stays warm. I read on here that someone else's chicken took 2 months to grow back all of her feathers. Oh, and also, while a chicken is molting, they do not lay eggs.

Hope this helped! smile


This is exactly what I wanted to know and it wasn't even my question....I love this place! yippiechickie


Bare in mind, I am not an expert. But I am glad to help you out. smile

post #8 of 14

All I know is that when my girls go into molt, it looks like someone had a huge pillowfight in the coop!! lol
I used to think it was only once a year, but I swear both of my Millies have molted twice this year, and they're over 2 years old. hmm

post #9 of 14

You know what's funny...... well I don't know if its really "funny". But I had no idea chickens molted like this. I mean, I've had chickens off and on for a couple years now and never had one do it before now. Now some of my layers look like someone put duct tape on them and ripped it off. LOL All I see is a rough looking down on their backs. They were gorgous when I got them too. Its been close to a month now I'd say. Wish they'd refeather already! Oh and mine are still laying!

post #10 of 14

Mine started molting at the worst time of the year. They hatched in about April and decided to molt during the fair -.-

1 Standard White Leghorn Cock, Bantams: 1 Blue Wyandotte cock and 1 hen, 2 black Wyandotte hens, 1 SLW hen, 2 Serama cocks, 3 Serama hens,1 Serama cockerel, 1 silkied Serama Cock  . Also Coturnix quail and Golden Yellow Pheasants.

Rest In Peace Sandy, Newbie, Coal, Diamond, my angel Coco, Krispy, Iona, Pearl and Claire....You will be missed forever.

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1 Standard White Leghorn Cock, Bantams: 1 Blue Wyandotte cock and 1 hen, 2 black Wyandotte hens, 1 SLW hen, 2 Serama cocks, 3 Serama hens,1 Serama cockerel, 1 silkied Serama Cock  . Also Coturnix quail and Golden Yellow Pheasants.

Rest In Peace Sandy, Newbie, Coal, Diamond, my angel Coco, Krispy, Iona, Pearl and Claire....You will be missed forever.

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