Did I miss a molting?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by msbee, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. msbee

    msbee Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 17, 2011
    I have been reading this page http://www.freewebs.com/professorchicken/timelineofachicken.htm, and it says that the first molting happens around 6 months. Well, I've been waiting, waiting, waiting, watching, watching, watching, and the girls didn't molt until this winter starting in November when they were 18 months old!

    I have 2 black ostralorps, 1 buff orp, 1 wyandotte, and 1 bard rock. Could I have missed their first molt? [​IMG]

    I feed them my own mix of seeds and kitchen scraps, and mealworms, and they free range in the summer, and they have all steadily layed until this winter - except the wyandotte who went broody for a while. And we live in Minnesota, if that means anything to this...

    Thanks for your insight! [​IMG]
  2. Azriel

    Azriel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 19, 2010
    Mine didn't molt either, I did have some feathers laying arround, but none of mine have looked anything like photos I have seen of molting birds. and they never stoped laying. Mine will be a year in April.
  3. Jajika

    Jajika Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 24, 2007
    Northern California
    From my experience, my chickens don't molt on schedule either.

    Some molt every year and the severity changes from year to year.

    I think it is difficult to expect chickens in different environments to keep to
    any particular "molting" schedule.

    It's kind of like trying to measure a childs development based on
    what is the "book."

    If your chickens are healthy, that is really all you need to know.

  4. Lisa202

    Lisa202 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2010
    Long Island NY
    Mine are all about 6 months right now. 2 days ago I noticed my cochin had a bare spot on her head above her eye, about a 1/2 inch size. I thought it was from being pecked, even though I have seen no evidence of that behavior. I put blue kote on it, just in case, but now I'm thinking that maybe she starting to molt? Would it happen in a specific area like this? The egg production has been a little on the lower side lately.
  5. nivtup

    nivtup Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2008
    Shelton Washington
    Our experience is that the juvenile molt is not so dramatic.

    Feathers scattered about as they slowly get their adult feathering.

    Not like an adult molt where some look nearly bare.

    In reality our birds have never looked bad during juvie molt, just lots of extra feathers on the ground and in the pens.
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    A lot of times, young hens will continue to lay through their first winter, never going through a full molt until their second fall or winter. Then they do the full-blown stop laying molt. Even then, some don't look tremendously bad. Some are fast molters that lose a lot of their feathers at one time but get over the molt in a couple of months. Others slowly go through the molt and don't look all that bad, but the molt may last 5 months.

    Most of my pullets do not molt the first fall but keep laying. Some do molt the first fall, even if they were hatched and raised with the others. I've never accused my chickens of being consistent.

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