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When do chickens molt?

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 

My Sex Link hens are just about a year old. When will they molt? a couple of them are strarting to look a little ruff. Do they molt once or twice per year?

post #2 of 46
I think 2 times per year, but I'm new to chickens as well, just got mine last March they are almosta year old and have had mini molts but no nakid chickens so far. I will be watching for a good answer as well.....Kim

4 Crazy kids, 3 crazy horses,  2 lazy dogs, 2 hyper puppies, 2 fat kitties , and 33 mixed up choocks

 Missing my Bugsy Whugsy..... best Boxer in the whole world!!!

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4 Crazy kids, 3 crazy horses,  2 lazy dogs, 2 hyper puppies, 2 fat kitties , and 33 mixed up choocks

 Missing my Bugsy Whugsy..... best Boxer in the whole world!!!

Reply
post #3 of 46

Once a year, generally in the fall/winter.  If a bird is super stressed, it can cause a molt at any time of year.

 

It can be barely noticeable, where you see that they look raggedy and miss some tail feathers OR it can look like this:

IMG_4143.jpg

Breeding Welsummers and Barnevelders.

 

Having an Icelandic in the coop is like having a 2 year old in the house - they are into everything and don't follow the rules.

I have zero chicken willpower.

Reply

Breeding Welsummers and Barnevelders.

 

Having an Icelandic in the coop is like having a 2 year old in the house - they are into everything and don't follow the rules.

I have zero chicken willpower.

Reply
post #4 of 46
I wonder why they molt in winter when it seems they need their feathers to keep warm.
post #5 of 46

Chickens molt twice a year and have one major molt and one light during the year.  They are like all other animals in that they need to shed their old feather inorder to grow new ones.  The feather they have in the summer are a lighter build so they need to grow a thicker feather so to speak of for the winter in order to keep warm.  I have had major molts from my hens any time during the year.  Mostly in the late spring or summer months.  I think it depends on the breed or if they are stressed for any reason.  Being stressed can be from a lot of different reasons from mites to being crowded.   As feather recurre more protein to grow back I tend to feed a 22% protein and add a calf manna supplement and some D.Earth to help out, other people say to add a little cat food to their feed.  

I live in New Mexico. Live on a 2.5 acres with my husband of 35 yrs., 4 dogs 3 cats, 6 horses, and 45 chickens. Americanas/Arauacanas ,Cuckoo Marans.  I will be getting Black Cooper Marans,Blue Splash, Golden Marans, Cuckoo Marans, Blue Cochins, Black Cochins this summer or fall (2014)

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I live in New Mexico. Live on a 2.5 acres with my husband of 35 yrs., 4 dogs 3 cats, 6 horses, and 45 chickens. Americanas/Arauacanas ,Cuckoo Marans.  I will be getting Black Cooper Marans,Blue Splash, Golden Marans, Cuckoo Marans, Blue Cochins, Black Cochins this summer or fall (2014)

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post #6 of 46

We added 2 White Austra's to our coop (8 months old).  One of the Austra's was picked on pretty bad by it's tail/back. That has stopped, but over the last few weeks it has finally rid itself of all of it's tail feathers and seems to be losing neck feathers too. It's partner does not have any of the same feather problems. 

 

I can't figure out if we have a sick chicken, if it's molting, or still being pecked at. 

post #7 of 46

Can you tell the difference between being pecked by other hens and molting?  Does molting typically start around their neck?

post #8 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by CSgirl View Post

Can you tell the difference between being pecked by other hens and molting?  Does molting typically start around their neck?


Yes, molting usually starts at the head.  Some of my birds you will only notice that they look like they are missing their tail.  Others blow off lots of feathers like my buttercup above.

Breeding Welsummers and Barnevelders.

 

Having an Icelandic in the coop is like having a 2 year old in the house - they are into everything and don't follow the rules.

I have zero chicken willpower.

Reply

Breeding Welsummers and Barnevelders.

 

Having an Icelandic in the coop is like having a 2 year old in the house - they are into everything and don't follow the rules.

I have zero chicken willpower.

Reply
post #9 of 46

I was so glad you posted that pic because I have the same breed and and I would've freaked out if I hadn't seen your picture-thanks for sharing!

post #10 of 46

phew, I was afraid my rooster was starting to get sick. his feathers under his hackles were gapping. was thinking sick or mites. I also noticed one of his earlobes so to be white or pale pink where as other one is more red. what does this mean? is that frostbite? sorry new to chickens this year! haha!

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