8 months old and moulting; in the winter?!?!?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kjpanda, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. kjpanda

    kjpanda Out Of The Brooder

    88
    3
    41
    Apr 19, 2011
    Spokane Valley, WA
    ARGH! At least one of my Plymouth Rocks is moulting and she is just barely 8 months old. Not to mention it is December, almost January. Why oh why can't I have normal chickens! [​IMG]

    The temps right now aren't bad, but things can change quickly in eastern Washington! I guess I had better start knitting her a sweater, just in case! [​IMG]
     
  2. Chemguy

    Chemguy Chillin' With My Peeps

    681
    32
    131
    May 30, 2011
    Springfield, Ohio
    My BO and BR all underwent a minimolt in late November, aged 4 months. That seems to have been all for the year, but only time will tell.
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    My birds tend to moult oct/nov/dec/jan.... almost never in the spring/summer. LOL Go figure.

    Even my indoor birds moult mid winter.
     
  4. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    5,411
    19
    251
    Jun 17, 2009
    Oklahoma
    My Coop
    Yes, mine have all moulted too. I have the same thoughts........ WHY winter?
     
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    My best guess on why winter is that days are short enough that they are not in repoduction/breeding mode thus use energy to moult and because winter is a harsher season, the "stress" of it can cause some to start dropping feathers. If I remember right, commercial layer barns can induce moult by inducing stress via feed deprivation.
     
  6. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    5,411
    19
    251
    Jun 17, 2009
    Oklahoma
    My Coop
    I was going to induce moulting on a hen that had become egg bound, but I couldn't bring myself to starve her. I lasted about a day and gave in. Figured I would just do the best I could to save her without the moult. She is fine now, but her eggs will never be good again. But, she is happy all the same.
     
  7. cyrixlord

    cyrixlord Chillin' With My Peeps

    197
    2
    113
    May 25, 2008
    Monroe, wa
    my chickens also have a min or max moult. the max moult looks like a chicken exploded and I have to count to make sure I have them all lol. They always seem to do it nov-dec for me right smack in the middle of winter. I have a nice infrared heater (no fire hazard) in the coop though.
     
  8. allpeepedout

    allpeepedout Chillin' With My Peeps

    519
    17
    131
    Mar 2, 2011
    Southern Indiana
    Mine are also undergoing various light molts at under 1 yr. old. I did not expect this their first year, and it seems like much of the oversimplified info on getting started with chickens is just that. But since our winter is being especially mild and they are far from naked, I am happy to get through this when they are not laying much anyway.
     
  9. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I have an eight month old polish pullet that is goiing through a light moult right now. I have a hen that is just over a year going through a larger moult. I wouldn't say it's uncommon...

    I don't know what the weather is like where you are, but this morning it was -16 [​IMG]
     
  10. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    39,708
    1,236
    516
    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    I have several pullets molting right now - more than I've ever had molt so young.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by