Can eleven-month old pullet molt?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by azygous, May 12, 2011.

  1. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    My Buff Brahma pullet Joyce has about three tail feathers left, most of her back feathers are gone (no rooster action), and her neck looks like a cactus with pin feathers sticking out.

    Her neck feathers have been missing for months, and her back feathers more recently, but her tail feathers seem to have all fallen out in the last three days. I do see the beginnings of new ones, though. Joyce is lowest in the pecking order, and gets pecked all the time, but it just occurred to me she may be going through her first molt when I saw a pile of feathers under the coop this evening.

    Can it happen this young? I thought it would be a year after onset of laying, and it's only been five months.
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Not only possibility but check for lice.
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Most chickens do go through a sort of mini-molt between 9-11 months. Usually, it's not very noticeable, but I've seen a few birds actually look very ragged and even lose a bit of weight at that time. The "big one" is at 18-20 months and that's usually much more obvious.
     
  4. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

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    Quote:Not only is it possible, it's probable that she is molting. Do check the base of her feathers for critters though, just in case. Anything is possible, but more likely than not, she is molting.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Molting in an 11 month bird is going to be seasonal (starting after summer solstice) and be staged so that covering not completely lost.
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Thanks for the replies. I guess Joyce is just a little odd-ball, and decided to molt early.

    And I checked for parasites - none.
     
  7. ladybug99

    ladybug99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two girls and a roo that are showing signs of molting and they are 10 months old...the hens have lost most of thier feathers on thier backs and the roo is losing his feathers on his chest.. they look just aweful! I have been dusting them for mites and treating the coop just in case. but I don't see any signs of mites so I just assumed they were molting. they started about two weeks ago.
     
  8. sjshaw1980

    sjshaw1980 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have four 8 month old pullets who went into a full molt after a serious cold snap at the beginning of the month. They look awful and have stopped laying but I checked them and there are no critters. So yes it can happen, and no its not cool due to the lack of eggs, but think of it this way, after this nice long break, your girls will start laying much bigger eggs on a more regular schedule. One of mine was in the 43-50g range, and she's jumped to the 56-61g range. Just laid her biggest egg ever this morning! :)
     

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