A question about molting

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LT, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. LT

    LT Chillin' With My Peeps

    395
    2
    101
    Aug 21, 2011
    West Fork
    I have 7 hens that are 18 months old, and they are different breeds: one Golden Comet, 3 Easter Eggers, 1 Cuckoo Maran and 2 Cherry Eggers. The Cuckoo Maran went through a mini molt last January, when she only lost some of her neck feathers. In late August, she lost a ton of feathers. The poor girl, her wings and breast were bare! She is coming along nicely and is looking better. Around the middle of September, one of the Cherry Eggers lost quite a bit of feathers, but hers seem to have come in much faster. Yesterday, one of the Easter Eggers lost a bunch of feathers. The girl looks terrible. Here is my question: will all of these 7 hens have a really hard molt, or does it vary from chicken to chicken or breed to breed?
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    They don't necessarily have to molt all at once, no.

    Sometimes they molt gradually. It varies from bird to bird.
     
  3. LT

    LT Chillin' With My Peeps

    395
    2
    101
    Aug 21, 2011
    West Fork
    We added 4 new girls to our flock this spring, all Welsummers. We did this anticipating the molt, but only one of the four new girls has started to lay, and I am nervous about not having eggs! I can't buy store bought eggs! We are averaging about 2 eggs a day.
     
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    39,820
    1,299
    516
    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    It varies from bird to bird. You can increase their protein to help them through their molt a little quicker.
     
  5. LT

    LT Chillin' With My Peeps

    395
    2
    101
    Aug 21, 2011
    West Fork
    Thank you all for the comments. How long does the typical molt last? The Cuckoo Maran who was the first to molt hasn't laid since late August. Will it be spring before she lays again?
     
  6. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    39,820
    1,299
    516
    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Average for my flock is 3 months. Some are a bit quicker, some a bit slower.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by