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Molting

post #1 of 67
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At what age do chickens start molting?? What should I expect? Never been through a molting process before!!celebrate.gif

~ Mother of 5 GREAT Kids , 2 Dogs, 12 CRAZY CHICKENS ... And A FUN LOVING HUSBAND and DAD ~
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~ Mother of 5 GREAT Kids , 2 Dogs, 12 CRAZY CHICKENS ... And A FUN LOVING HUSBAND and DAD ~
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post #2 of 67

molting varies  some can start as young as 7 months!    They will be loosing feathers and stopped laying eggs for a while !     They may molt for a month up to 3 months!   Takes a while for them to get beautiful again !

post #3 of 67

Molting usually takes place 1 year + or - from the time they start to lay.  Generally chickens will lay for more than a year, say they start at 5 months & molt at 18 months etc.  The longer they lay without molting, the better the egg layer they supposedly are.  Some environmental factors can force molt in chickens also.  HTH

post #4 of 67

It really depends on when they were hatched.  I've had chicks hatched in Jan/Feb molt their first winter, not all of them, but some.  Since they are young, it tends to be a minor molt.  Most molting happens between 12 and 18 months.  It can be anywhere from a mild molt, which looks like they are missing their tail feathers - or it can be a hard molt, where they are naked with pins sticking out.

 

Here is a thread I created last year to show a hard molt for those that have not been through it before.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/580915/for-the-new-folks-that-havent-experienced-a-molt-yet/0_50

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.

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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 #5 of 67

So if they don't molt through the first winter, will they still slow down in egg production in the winter. and then turn around and stop all together in the summer when they have been laying a year?

post #6 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldHippieChick View Post

So if they don't molt through the first winter, will they still slow down in egg production in the winter. and then turn around and stop all together in the summer when they have been laying a year?

My experience with hatchery birds bred to lay eggs has been: buy chicks in the spring. Pullets start laying late summer/early fall. They lay dependably through that first winter, the next spring and summer then slow down the second fall. They molt and usually take that winter off from laying (I don't supplement light), then start up again the following spring. That year they lay slightly less eggs but are still productive. Then each fall they molt and take the winter off, each spring resuming laying with again decreased production.

Rachel BB

 

"At the cross You beckon me, You draw me gently to my knees and I am lost for words, so lost in love I am sweetly broken, wholly surrendered"

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Rachel BB

 

"At the cross You beckon me, You draw me gently to my knees and I am lost for words, so lost in love I am sweetly broken, wholly surrendered"

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post #7 of 67

I agree with donrae... We have (16) almost 3 year old girls who seem to be finishing up their fall molt. They pretty much molt every fall in various degrees of severity. Some will continue to lay through the winter after the molt is complete while others take the winter off and resume in the spring. We were looking to add to the flock this past spring/summer but we moved to a new home. So, now we have an order of hatching eggs coming towards the end of October to get egg production up and let the older girls retire. Many people will add some chicks to the flock every other year to keep egg production up. Also, be sure to give extra protein treats, such as BOSS, to help them with making all those new beautiful feathers. They'll appreciate it :-) 

Check us out on Facebook or at www.symansaysfarms.com

Proud momma, wife and hobby farmer! We currently have 3 young boys and 1 in the oven, 2 weimaraners, 1 kitty, 2 bunnies, about 40 laying chickens and 4 breeding pens! We breed Lavender Ameraucanas, BBS Marans, B/W Silkies and Lavender Orpingtons. And the newest addition are the 4 little goat babies... Wendy, Lucy, Sadie and Charlotte!!!    

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Check us out on Facebook or at www.symansaysfarms.com

Proud momma, wife and hobby farmer! We currently have 3 young boys and 1 in the oven, 2 weimaraners, 1 kitty, 2 bunnies, about 40 laying chickens and 4 breeding pens! We breed Lavender Ameraucanas, BBS Marans, B/W Silkies and Lavender Orpingtons. And the newest addition are the 4 little goat babies... Wendy, Lucy, Sadie and Charlotte!!!    

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post #8 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldHippieChick View Post

So if they don't molt through the first winter, will they still slow down in egg production in the winter. and then turn around and stop all together in the summer when they have been laying a year?


They will slow down because of the decreased light, but most pullets will continue to lay through their first winter - just not as heavy laying as they did through the summer.  I have had a few 9 month old pullets go through a minor molt though.

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 67

Thanks. I havn't been through this yet and wanted an idea of what to expect. I got my girls this summer and was told they were 9-10 months old. That would mean they were born in the fall. I'm just trying to figure out when they are due to molt. It's not a big deal. I give away and swap more than I eat. But I wanted an idea of what to expect.

post #10 of 67

If they hatched last fall, then they will molt this year.  Molting can be minor, like just missing tail feathers - to pretty much naked.

 

Here's a thread I made last year to show how bad a molt can be:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/580915/for-the-new-folks-that-havent-experienced-a-molt-yet/0_50

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
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