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Do chickens molt by breed or age?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I can't figure it out. It appears some don't molt at all very much. My old BR and a year old Delaware had a hard molt about a month ago. Now, my old Australorpe is almost naked and a BO appears to be starting.

How does this work? Do they molt by breed, age, weather conditions or ??

Anne

My Girls: 2 senior hens and 16 new babies!!  5 Buff Orpingtons, 4 Delawares, 4 Black Astralorpes, 4 Gold Sexlinks and a rescue hen of undetermined heritage.

 

I also share my life with the best husband in the world and a remarkable lab mix, Maggie.

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My Girls: 2 senior hens and 16 new babies!!  5 Buff Orpingtons, 4 Delawares, 4 Black Astralorpes, 4 Gold Sexlinks and a rescue hen of undetermined heritage.

 

I also share my life with the best husband in the world and a remarkable lab mix, Maggie.

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post #2 of 8

Chickens molt by season the most I think.  Mine molt before winter, and then again before summer.  To me, it seems as if they are getting their winter and summer clothing, such as a horse does.  But, I may not be right, I just thought that because that is when my hens molt.

post #3 of 8

They also molt by age a pullet will not molt unlike a 1 or 2 year old.

BYC Birthday Thread
www.coloredeggfarms.com  out of chickens at moment, but soon to be replenished!
Owned by (Tiramisu)
1 Australorp, 1 GLW, 2 silkies, 1 buff 1 partridge, and 1 silkie mix roo, 1 Barred Rock, 1 sex link, 1 Spangled Hamburg, 4 Iowa blues, 3 buttercups, and 2 Russian Orloff chicks!
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BYC Birthday Thread
www.coloredeggfarms.com  out of chickens at moment, but soon to be replenished!
Owned by (Tiramisu)
1 Australorp, 1 GLW, 2 silkies, 1 buff 1 partridge, and 1 silkie mix roo, 1 Barred Rock, 1 sex link, 1 Spangled Hamburg, 4 Iowa blues, 3 buttercups, and 2 Russian Orloff chicks!
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post #4 of 8

That's a great explanation! Chickens are animals, after all, following the turning of the year and its seasons and temperatures. My dogs shed at the same time.

Lisa 
1 hubby, 2 kids (ok, 1 is 18 now, so not technically a kid), 3 dogs, 1 cat, 1 hamster, and a 10 beautiful RIRs!
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Lisa 
1 hubby, 2 kids (ok, 1 is 18 now, so not technically a kid), 3 dogs, 1 cat, 1 hamster, and a 10 beautiful RIRs!
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post #5 of 8

How long does molt take place?  idunno  1 week 1 month?
Thanks

Mother of 3 pretty girls(mini chickenma's) DH that thinks I'm chickencrazy, humphrey the hotdog that thinks he's a chicken, and chickenma of 2 austrolops, 5 ameraucana (1 R.I.P), 2 guinee (2 R.I.P), 6 RIR (2 R.I.P), 3 buf orphingtons, 50+ quails, 1 Silkie, 1 andulasion, 1 maran, 6 muscovies, 1 bantam, 4 broilers and toulouse geese, Sebastopol geese sea bright pekingducks e 

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Mother of 3 pretty girls(mini chickenma's) DH that thinks I'm chickencrazy, humphrey the hotdog that thinks he's a chicken, and chickenma of 2 austrolops, 5 ameraucana (1 R.I.P), 2 guinee (2 R.I.P), 6 RIR (2 R.I.P), 3 buf orphingtons, 50+ quails, 1 Silkie, 1 andulasion, 1 maran, 6 muscovies, 1 bantam, 4 broilers and toulouse geese, Sebastopol geese sea bright pekingducks e 

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post #6 of 8

Anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months, you never know how long the molt will last.

"Yeah...Here comes the Rooster..."  - Alice in chains
http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2588-Roo_behavior
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"Yeah...Here comes the Rooster..."  - Alice in chains
http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2588-Roo_behavior
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post #7 of 8

My California Whites, a small x-breed of the leghorn arn't molting at all?  I have been waiting for the feathers to fly but so far, nothing.  They seem happy though, so I suppose thats what important and now they are doing freezing temperatures at night so I can't see them dumping all their feathers at this time.

Flopita, Brigita, and middle child
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Flopita, Brigita, and middle child
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post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by desert chicken 

My California Whites, a small x-breed of the leghorn aren't molting at all?  I have been waiting for the feathers to fly but so far, nothing.  They seem happy though, so I suppose thats what important and now they are doing freezing temperatures at night so I can't see them dumping all their feathers at this time.


How old are they? If they're from this spring, or later, they may not moult until next fall. Or they may have a minor moult in the spring. Some of my younger hens have moulted, some have not.

Mine have always only moulted in the fall, but that may vary with breed and climate. It's possible that mine shed some of the winter down without me noticing. Mine don't slow or stop laying in the spring like they do in the fall.

I have several different breeds, and mixed breeds, they haven't all moulted in sync. I still have  afew that don't look like they've even started yet, others are nearly finished growing in new feathers, and everything in between. This has worked out well for me, I haven't had any "eggless" time at all. Just some "minimal egg production". I'm so glad, I haven't had o buy store eggs at all this year.

Jenny-the-Bear (grrr)
Do not meddle with the forces of nature, for you are small, insignificant, and biodegradable.
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Jenny-the-Bear (grrr)
Do not meddle with the forces of nature, for you are small, insignificant, and biodegradable.
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