Do roosters molt their feathers?


8 Years
Apr 27, 2011
Rio Linda, CA
This might be the "dumbest question of the year"!

We read so much about the hens going through a bad molt, stop laying eggs awhile and how they need extra protein to grow back new feathers...but what about roosters - Do they molt too? (I only have pullets)
Following is the incomplete moulting sequence of one of my game roosters. In first image he is about 8 months post-hatch. His feathers are just fully set (no longer growing) so he could be called a bull-stag. The next image shows where the lateral tail feathers have been dropped. The way a chicken's tail folds, the lateral feathers appear to be on the bottom. The third images shows all bull-stag feathers have been shed and the lateral tail feathers are coming in. The subsequent images are showing the feathers continueing to develope. Notice the new feathers are longer than the bull-stag set. He was a late hatch rooster so his stag feathers are a bit shorter than they would be in a cock which is a fully mature male. Last image shows him about 2 weeks shy of having his cock feathering fully set. He would have been truely impressive if a bad series of events did not take him out. Will repeat sequence with one of his sons that is also late hatch. Wing feathers were being replaced starting a good four months prior to loss of first tail feathers and the last replacement of wing feathers would have been complete at about time tail feathers were fully set.

The pictures are wonderful. He was a very handsome boy...I especially love the shiny green tail feathers! It probably isn't a big deal for a regular barnyard rooster to molt. But, I imagine it can be problematic for someone who shows their birds. Someday I would like to have a flock of Silkies (to show) including a rooster. I'm kind of scared of regular roosters, but the 4 silkies I had were ALL roosters -and they were very sweet. Unfortunately they could crow, like any other roo, so they had to go!
Darn, I wish there had been a reply to this last post as i have a rooster who might be molting, is much more reserved than he was, has taken to sleeping on the floor and thus is getting shat on. He holds his wings out from his body a bit. No mites that I can tell. Not sure what to think or do. . ..
Mine all seem to change their behavior, including my roo. They generally seem less active, lie around more, and eat less, like they don't feel well.

Holding wings away from body is usually an effort to cool off, in my experience. I have not seen that related to molt.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom