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Chicken Molting Question

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I havent seen this topic discussed on BYC the subject of molting. In nature, chickens and other avian species undergo a natural process called molting, where feathers are lost, the reproductive tract shrinks, and the hens quit laying eggs; basically, the hens have a period of rest. This is followed by the growth of a new set of feathers, an increase in the size of the reproductive tract, and the beginning of a second cycle of egg production. My questions for all you BYC enthusiast would be have all your mature chickens experienced this cycle, for how long (I realize there are many variables), degree of loss of feathers, do they lay during molt, does egg production increase afterwards, how long usually before feathers grow back. If there is any information you can share I would appreciate hearing about them that you have experienced.

post #2 of 9

Dawg, How was your trip back home?

Anyway, your hens won't lay during molt, and they will replace feathers faster if you up the protein in their diet. Usually they won't molt all exactly at the same time, so if you have enough hens you won't be completely eggless, but close to it. The time it takes can be a couple months.

If I run across any wild ginseng this fall I'll let you know. Sometimes I do, but have no use for it. I understand it helps with well being, however I never figured that one out?

  bigzio

Calling all Wisconsinites....come and enjoy the days of Spring with us on the "Cheesehead" thread!  http:/ http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=44015700

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Calling all Wisconsinites....come and enjoy the days of Spring with us on the "Cheesehead" thread!  http:/ http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=44015700

Annual Bash...A must Event http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/851229/fifth-annual-wicheeseheads-bash#post_12728453

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post #3 of 9

With some birds you hardly know they're moulting, but others almost go bald. Egg production drops but each member of the flock moults at a different time so  I usually have some eggs during this time. I up the protein in their diet by adding gamebird starter crumbles to their regular laying ration. The length of the moult varies a lot between individuals; some do it really quick and some drag it out for a month or so. The flock as a whole experiences the moult around the fall but some start in late summer and some drag it out into early spring.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Bigzio, we had a wonderful time on vacation it is good to be home yes, just about finished planting the garden and I acquired 7 new chicks, 2 Barred Rocks, 1 Ameraucana, 1 RIR and two new breeds I have never raised before 2 Buff Orpingtons and a Delaware. Thanks all for the informative information I will increase their protein I believe some of them are actually eating less now and only one is showing signs of feather loss? I would love to get some Wisconsin ginseng that would be wonderful let me know keep in touch as far as we are concerned it is the best, my wife uses it in soups and it can be used as a tea.

post #5 of 9

Dawg, Glad you had a safe trip, that is the most important...... except the pics you are going to post of the local backyard flocks back home. You didn't forget the camera on a two week trip, did you?

  bigzio

Calling all Wisconsinites....come and enjoy the days of Spring with us on the "Cheesehead" thread!  http:/ http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=44015700

Annual Bash...A must Event http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/851229/fifth-annual-wicheeseheads-bash#post_12728453

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Calling all Wisconsinites....come and enjoy the days of Spring with us on the "Cheesehead" thread!  http:/ http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=44015700

Annual Bash...A must Event http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/851229/fifth-annual-wicheeseheads-bash#post_12728453

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post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
post #7 of 9

Dawg, Thanks for sharing the wonderful pics.
Never going far from home makes pics like that priceless. I'm  always happy to enjoy other cultures, the world is so interesting and satisfying......Wish wars and hatred would go away.

I love the block henhouse, too cool.

  bigzio

Calling all Wisconsinites....come and enjoy the days of Spring with us on the "Cheesehead" thread!  http:/ http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=44015700

Annual Bash...A must Event http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/851229/fifth-annual-wicheeseheads-bash#post_12728453

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Calling all Wisconsinites....come and enjoy the days of Spring with us on the "Cheesehead" thread!  http:/ http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=44015700

Annual Bash...A must Event http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/851229/fifth-annual-wicheeseheads-bash#post_12728453

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post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigzio 

Dawg, Thanks for sharing the wonderful pics.
Never going far from home makes pics like that priceless. I'm  always happy to enjoy other cultures, the world is so interesting and satisfying......Wish wars and hatred would go away.

I love the block henhouse, too cool.

  bigzio


Your very welcome bigzio, yes all we can do is imagine that, wouldnt that be wonderful, actually when I have visited China they still practice air raid drills in some cities how unusual it was hearing those sirens. When I was there in 2004 during the summer Olympics they always view the gold medals as the supreme, the others were insignificant, so we had the most and China second, so all the Chinese youth would always tell me America #1 China #2. Well we will see since the summer Olympics are in Beijing next year, it was different watching them from their eyes.


Edited by Barnyard Dawg - 4/26/07 at 4:38pm
post #9 of 9

Dawg, thanks for sharing that information.

I think they (China) are more focused in general. Maybe that's my interpretation of their lifestyle. However we do seem awful relaxed in my opinion. If the gold is that important to everyone, let the best teams win. But in the end I'm not sure it matters, in the real scheme of everyday life.

Thanks for being cyber friendly, you're the best.

  bigzio

Calling all Wisconsinites....come and enjoy the days of Spring with us on the "Cheesehead" thread!  http:/ http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=44015700

Annual Bash...A must Event http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/851229/fifth-annual-wicheeseheads-bash#post_12728453

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Calling all Wisconsinites....come and enjoy the days of Spring with us on the "Cheesehead" thread!  http:/ http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=44015700

Annual Bash...A must Event http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/851229/fifth-annual-wicheeseheads-bash#post_12728453

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