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


8 Years
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!

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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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

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