Anomalies in molting patterns - any strange molting patterns in your flock?

azygous

Enabler
12 Years
Dec 11, 2009
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Colorado Rockies
Is molting a behavior? It's probably a topic that might fit just about anywhere, so I'll stick it here. Anyway, three chickens in my flock seem to be breaking all the rules of molting, and it sure does make molting season, shall we say, interesting.

The most perplexing is an eight-month old Blue Plymouth Rock hen that is in full, intense adult molt. Her feathers are flying off of her in a virtual feather blizzard. It's very obvious she's in full adult molt because her neck has a full complement of new pin feathers having shed all the others. I have never heard of adult molt in a chicken of this age. Have you had this happen in your flock?

The second puzzle is a nineteen month-old Blue Australorp NOT molting, though she due for her first adult molt. Not a single pin feather to be seen. She looks like a threadbare chenille bedspread. She is the only survivor of leucosis that killed her three brooder mates last year. https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...update-now-another-pullet-going-lame.1432738/ I wonder if LL has something to do with this.

The third anomaly is my six year old Legbar/EE mix who skipped her first adult molt, waited two years and molted for the first time in June. She then skipped two more years, and molted again in June at age four years. Last fall, she did molt, and she is now molting again, albeit a tad later than most of my flock. LL could be a factor in her molting pattern, but I've never heard of molt being affected by it. If your flock carries LL, have you experienced chickens skipping molt or molting in the off season?

Let's have a discussion of out-of-the-ordinary molts you've experienced in your flocks. Maybe we all can end up understanding molt a little better.

Lots of factors can affect molt, genetics, diet, chronic disease, and maybe environmental factors such as climate. I keep chickens at high elevation (7500') so that could be a factor. Intense seasonal climate variations could be a factor. Include this info with your response, and maybe we can discover some patterns.
 

MysteryChicken

Gamefowl Are Awesome🐓🇺🇸, All fowls need love.
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2018
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East, Tawas Michigan
No, skipped molts for my birds.

1 Heritage Plymouth Barred Rock hen, the youngest molted first, the oldest the second. These were their first full molt. Both are a year old, only months apart. Hard/Heavy molts, pretty much naked.

3 Buff Orpingtons went through heavy/Hard molts. Were pretty much naked.

2 EE hens, moderate to light molt.

2 EE hens, heavy molts.

2 Brahmas, light molt.

1 rooster, heavy molt.

Several bantams, moderate molts.

2 Cracker hens, full, but moderate molts.

Most of my roosters went through light molts.
 

azygous

Enabler
12 Years
Dec 11, 2009
26,038
40,136
1,232
Colorado Rockies
I doubt my Blue Plymouth Rock Maxine Waters has ever experienced stress of any kind. There have been no predator visits lately, nor any unscheduled events. Life is very mellow. Rooster exposure is very limited, and the two roosters are anything but aggressive since both have limited hormones due to molt.
 

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