Age at first molt?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by thistlecreek, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. thistlecreek

    thistlecreek Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 27, 2014
    Central Iowa
    It appears that some of my ladies which were born back in February are starting to molt. It is the correct time of year, but aren't they a little young? I check them often for mites and we just constructed and moved them into a brand new (huge) coop. We've started lighting it, but I'm wondering since there was a lag between starting the lights, if this stimulated the molting. Any advice is appreciated.
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    Yes, it is pretty normal for hens of that age to molt at this time of year. Some hold out until they are 1 - 1 1/2 years old, but many molt in response to the changing daylight hours.

    The lighting should help them molt faster, and discourage those that aren't molting from beginning. Lights do not stimulate molting unless they are so intense that they stress the birds out.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014
  3. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    1 person likes this.
  4. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.

    This is a pretty normal age for chickens to begin. I have some January hatch birds that started a molt a couple of weeks ago. Generally, birds start their first molt around a year, though this can vary. The earliest I've had a bird molt is about 8 months.
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I agree with Liz here, usually they don't molt until the following fall or around 1 1/2 years of age. They have already molted 7 or 8 times as chicks and keep this last set of feathers until the next fall. I would definitely post this in the Behavior and Egg Laying forums for more input. It is possible as BantamLover and Wyandottes that they are indeed responding to the conditions and light, but generally they should be keeping their feathers on at this age.

    Good luck and I hope you can get some answers soon!

    Edit to add: If they ran out of water for a long period of time they can be thrown into a molt. If they became extremely stressed for any reason, this too can throw them into a molt. And if you moved them from somewhere or into a much darker coop with a lot less light, this too can send them into a molt.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014
  6. thistlecreek

    thistlecreek Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 27, 2014
    Central Iowa
    They were actually moved into a much brighter coop. I'm wondering since the days are so much shorter and we've had a wide range of temps if that did it. We just put them on the light about a week ago. I'll cross post this and see what I get! Thanks!
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
  8. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    Jan 10, 2013
  9. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    Apr 23, 2014
    At our lodge
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    X2 on all the advice given above.
  10. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!

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