Can You Trigger Molting with Light Schedules? A Molting Experiment!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by FaithFeathers, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. FaithFeathers

    FaithFeathers Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 22, 2013
    Hello everyone.
    I have a buff silkie who I love dearly. She used to have the most glorious, fluffy feathers, but she didn't molt this last fall and she desperately needed to. Her feathers are breaking off and have lost their glorious shine. She is one of the sweetest girls I've ever had, and I was hoping to show her this summer, but with the condition of her feathers, there is no way. [​IMG]
    I'm almost certain that she didn't molt last fall because of the light in her coop. For all of you who don't know, chickens base their internal schedules off of light, so when the daylight decreases they know it is fall and they molt, and when daylight increases they know it is spring. Inconsistent or insufficient light can cause a decrease in egg production. In my case, my chickens have a light in their coop that we have to turn on and off manually, so our chickens are not exposed to a natural light pattern and are unable to sense the seasons and therefore unable to molt. I have experienced how important light is to chickens' internal schedules firsthand. Recently, my family and I went on vacation and forgot that the coop light was unplugged. When I got back, one of my hens had started molting. This happened in the spring which is not a natural time for chickens to molt. I believe that she started molting due to the decrease in light exposure.
    I am planning to do an experiment with my buff silkie, since she needs to molt so badly. I am going to keep her with the others during the day, but around 5 or 6pm I will separate her and put her somewhere dark and then reintroduce her to the flock again around 7 in the morning. I'm hoping that by decreasing her light exposure I will be able to trigger molting so that she can have her beautiful warm feathers back. Any ideas or input? I'm hoping to hear other opinions on whether this will work or not. I will keep you updated on how my experiment is going. [​IMG]
  2. chickengenius

    chickengenius Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 1, 2014
    I hope your chicken molts! [​IMG]

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