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Do many Spring Chickens Molt in their first fall?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TimofDoom, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. TimofDoom

    TimofDoom New Egg

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    Nov 25, 2013
    I've been looking around for someone to confirm to me what appears to be a spring chicken molting in her first fall (at about 7 months old). She is an Easter Egger that started laying a little early at 18 weeks and laid six eggs/wk for about 3 months. I do not have them on artificial light and she abruptly stopped laying about a month ago. Now it is apparent she is losing feathers and basically looks like she is molting. I just didn't know a spring hatch chicken would molt the first fall as i've never had one do that before. Is this ok or does she likely have bigger problems?

    Thx!
     
  2. sorry - no answers; just replying so I can see all the replies to this one. Hope it's just an unusual molt and nothing more serious.
     
  3. TimofDoom

    TimofDoom New Egg

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    Nov 25, 2013
    I did find this bit of info from a southern hemisphere source: MOLT It's a bit confusing as the seasons are swapped, but from what I gather is that some birds will have a short lived early molt and hopefully she'll start laying again around Christmas.

    excerpt: So if a flock of pullets commences laying in March at six months of age, they should continue laying until the following February, although an occasional bird may moult after laying for a few weeks. However, these few birds should begin laying again after June 22 (the shortest day of the year) and continue in production until the following autumn.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    My girls were hatched late Feb, early March, and the EE have gone through varying stages of molting this fall. My RIR is currently going through a hard molt, and looks miserable... like a puffed up porcupine. I'm sure she's cold. It was down to 13 degrees for most of Sun. night and Monday.
     
  5. marktoo

    marktoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't know how common this is but I took a couple of classes late summer. The expert claimed that spring chickens shouldn't molt till the fall of the following year, doing so is an early indicator that a hen will be a poor layer. Of my 4 35 week old pullets, the only one that has not layed is now going through a mini molt. Coincidence? Perhaps, I'm certainly not about to cull the bird but I will be interested in how this pans out & would like to know how others fair with their early molters.

    This may help also.
    http://www.albc-usa.org/documents/ALBCchicken_assessment-2.pdf
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    I wish the chickens would read the books. Also, I'm wondering how supplemental light plays into the equation. Also wondering about POL in relation to the summer solstice, and if that makes a difference.
     
  7. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut Premium Member

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    I do know chickens start molting when the days start getting shorter. I was wondering why my girls weren't molting, and I learned this; I had my lights on for 14 hours a day. I turned them off and almost immediately they started molting.
     
  8. marktoo

    marktoo Chillin' With My Peeps

  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I've read that first year chooks can have a mini molt in the fall....my 6 month olds have done so and they are not laying yet.
     

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