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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by welsummerchicks, Sep 12, 2010.
So I won't get any eggs this year?
About when can I expect my youngsters to start laying in spring?
I was wondering this same thing. My girls are 4 months and have yet to lay. I noticed that a few are starting to molt. I hope someone can answer your question.
Chickens don't molt at such a young age that I am aware of. They are usually around 18 months old when they go through their first hard molt. They can go through mini molts, but even then it is usually such a small thing as to pass unnoticed by most. Are you sure you don't have feather picking going on? Have you done a bug check lately? Both those things would account for feather loss at such a young age.
Most of mine are 1 1/2 y3ars old. I have 1 broody, and out of the remaining 12 old enough to lay, I got 4 eggs today. I'm expecting 5 of them to begin molting, but maybe more of them are going to molt.
My last 2 girls that molted, it was 3 1/2 months before they started laying again.
One book said I should see their feathers coming in looking like porcupine quills. I can see that.
Some have a bare spot on their backs, but I have spent much time watching them and see no pecking going on.
All my chickens are 18-27 weeks and they have been going through a bit of a mini molt - I'm assuming... They are all fully feathered and don't have any bare spots at all. However, I've got tons of little downy feathers and a handful of big one littering my whole yard. None of them are laying yet. I wonder if that's what you're going through also. I guess since they won't officially go through their big first molt until 18 mos, this must be a mini-pre molt of some sort.
Quote:This is good info! I check mine regularly for bugs and haven't seen anything. Maybe they are not molting after all?? I went out and looked closely and mine don't actually look like they are losing feathers as much as fluffy white feathers are showing through, it is on my buff orps and mostly on their necks.
Sorry to hijack your thread welsummerchick, it was a good question and I have gotten some good info. Thanks for asking it!
Quote:I'm going on my second flock. The first one did this, and now this one is...the first flock started laying soon after the small molt. I'm hoping the same thing will happen again this time, as I've been waiting on the two oldest. I keep thinking, any day now!