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What age do chickens go through their first molt?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I have mainly Polish and EE chickens.  They are now almost a year old.  When do they normally molt for the first time?  I'm guessing I won't be able to miss it.  Some of the hens are developing bare backs and now have aprons to wear, but it is only on their backs so I'm assuming it is the roos causing the feather loss.  How often do they molt?

"People who count their chickens before they are hatched act very wisely, because chickens run about so absurdly that it is impossible to count them accurately."

— Oscar Wilde

Trying to count my 60+ chickens.  Polish, Ameraucana, Welsummer, Cornish, Production Red, Cochin, Cuckcoo Maran, Black Austrolorp, Sizzle, Showgirl, Silkie, OEG, Partridge Rock, Russian Orloff, Dorking, Basque.  Tough...

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"People who count their chickens before they are hatched act very wisely, because chickens run about so absurdly that it is impossible to count them accurately."

— Oscar Wilde

Trying to count my 60+ chickens.  Polish, Ameraucana, Welsummer, Cornish, Production Red, Cochin, Cuckcoo Maran, Black Austrolorp, Sizzle, Showgirl, Silkie, OEG, Partridge Rock, Russian Orloff, Dorking, Basque.  Tough...

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post #2 of 6

I have not been through too many molt cycles yet with my girls, but my understanding is that the first year they will not molt.  After that, I think it is suppose to be yearly, usually in the Fall.

It certainly is something to see.  If they go through a hard molt they can end up looking like a shadow of themselves - but eventually their feathers come back in even more beautiful than before.  smile

post #3 of 6

Some of my girls are doing a mini molt right now.  They are about a year old.

Amy ~ Mommy to Riley (2) and Andrew (newborn) ~ 3 doggies, 3 kitty cats, 2 rabbits, 22 hens (3 BA's, 1 black 1 SL Wyandotte, 7 EE's, 3 RIR, 2 White Rocks, 1 BO, 2BR, 2 BR mixes)

www.itssewpretty.com
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Amy ~ Mommy to Riley (2) and Andrew (newborn) ~ 3 doggies, 3 kitty cats, 2 rabbits, 22 hens (3 BA's, 1 black 1 SL Wyandotte, 7 EE's, 3 RIR, 2 White Rocks, 1 BO, 2BR, 2 BR mixes)

www.itssewpretty.com
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post #4 of 6

Bump.

I'm curious about this too.  I've read that they go through a juvenile molt.  My birds are 4 months old and a lot of them have dropped a lot of their tail feathers but other than that and seeing what seems like a lot of loose feathers laying around they don't appear to really be molting like what I expected.  I expected to see bald spots or something.  Is what I'm expecting what's called a hard molt?  Does it sound like my chickens are going through a "soft" molt (is that what it's called.)  Like the OP I'm curious what age they typically go through their first molt?

Bantam Cochin, Quail Belgian Bearded D'Anver, Speckled Sussex, 2 Cocker Spaniels

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Bantam Cochin, Quail Belgian Bearded D'Anver, Speckled Sussex, 2 Cocker Spaniels

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post #5 of 6

Like I said earlier, my hens are going through a mini molt.  Not all of them, but the EE, Wyandotte for sure and possibly one of the Australorps.  I just see a lot of down on the very bottom of their backs instead of full feathers.  When I touch there, I feel some new feathers coming in underneath.  No rooster, so it's not from mating.

My girls have not been through a hard molt, so I can't give any info about that.

Amy ~ Mommy to Riley (2) and Andrew (newborn) ~ 3 doggies, 3 kitty cats, 2 rabbits, 22 hens (3 BA's, 1 black 1 SL Wyandotte, 7 EE's, 3 RIR, 2 White Rocks, 1 BO, 2BR, 2 BR mixes)

www.itssewpretty.com
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Amy ~ Mommy to Riley (2) and Andrew (newborn) ~ 3 doggies, 3 kitty cats, 2 rabbits, 22 hens (3 BA's, 1 black 1 SL Wyandotte, 7 EE's, 3 RIR, 2 White Rocks, 1 BO, 2BR, 2 BR mixes)

www.itssewpretty.com
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post #6 of 6

There are different degrees of molting. During their first 6 months they will molt several times starting with loosing their downy feathers and getting the adult feathers. (Wing feathers come in first.) Some will molt more noticeable than others. After their first year then usually once a year. Sometimes they quit laying and sometimes you may get an egg now and then when they are in a mini molt. When they go through a hard molt they can look like they have been plucked.

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Heritage Rhode Island Reds, Rose Comb Rhode Island Whites & soon Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds

Member of the American Poultry Association &

Central Florida Poultry Breeders Association. NPIP Certified Participant

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HEY LOOK!!! ---> UPCOMING FLORIDA Swaps/Sales/Shows/Events

---> Florida Fair Schedule 2013/2014 and  FLORIDA!!!!!ALWAYS SUNNY SIDE UP!!!

Heritage Rhode Island Reds, Rose Comb Rhode Island Whites & soon Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds

Member of the American Poultry Association &

Central Florida Poultry Breeders Association. NPIP Certified Participant

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