Do they really moult at 6 months?!?!?!?!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cjeanean, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    Missouri
    Okay, so I've been waiting for the past 5-5 1/2 months for my chickens to start laying. 4 of the original 18 have started, the other 14 are just about there. Now I find out that they moult at 6 months, which is in about 2 weeks, and that I don't get any eggs during this time, which lasts for about 4 weeks!!!! what???!?!?!?! Also, do they always moult at 6 months, or give or take a month/week or two??? How long do I have to go without eggs???
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Are you sure it is a full moult or just a partial one with the entry of some of the adult feathers? Or is there possible picking occuring? Sometimes birds don't always moult at the same time or age. It can vary but unless it's a heavy adult moult, doubt it will effect egg initiation.
     
  3. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

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    Jan 18, 2008
    Newman Lake, WA
    Usually the six month molt is a partial one. Egg production is usually not affected either.
     
  4. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    Missouri
    Oh, they haven't started moulting yet, I'm just freaking out about waiting for sooooo long for them to lay eggs and finding out that their first moult should be around 6 months. They're 21 weeks, 4 leghorns have started laying and the others are getting the pelvic spread thing so they're getting ready. I read a timeline on someone's site saying that the first moult is around 6 months, and that is usually lasts a month. That means another month of feeding the little hogs before I can make some money back on their eggs! Do they stop laying for their first moult? Is it really at about 6 months??? Cause if it is that means I won't have eggs to sell till october!!!
     
  5. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    Missouri
    pips&peeps :

    Usually the six month molt is a partial one. Egg production is usually not affected either.

    So is that the moult people talk about that marks when eggs start getting bigger??? When should I expect their full moult?​
     
  6. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

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    Jan 18, 2008
    Newman Lake, WA
    In my ameraucanas the 18 month molt is when the eggs get bigger.
     
  7. FarmerDenise

    FarmerDenise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 21, 2007
    Sonoma County
    Young pullets don't usually go into a real moult until the following year. If they are loosing feathers, it is not due to a molt. You might have something else going on.
    I have been raising back yard chickens for over 15 years and have never had a young pullet molt at six months of age. They might loose a few feathers for a variety of reasons, but not molting.
    You should be finding little eggs soon. The first ones are usually smaller than expected and can be soft shelled. Sometimes they get squished and all you'll find is the remaining soft shell. The eggs will be normal after the first one or two.
     
  8. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    Missouri
    My hens have been laying since last wednesday, and the eggs are still small. These are coming from leghorns. The only reason I was asking about the moult is cause of the timeline I read that says they moult at 6 months. I've also read that the eggs don't really get full size till their first moult. I just wanted to see if this is true, cause if it is I'm not gonna be able to afford to keep chickens! I need selling size eggs ASAP!
     
  9. chicksinthemachine

    chicksinthemachine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Henley,MO
    ASome chickens go through a summer moult(I read it somewhere) but they are not full moults just getting big girl and boy feathers If you think it some thing else pick a couple of chickens and see if it has mites or lice. Also look for pecking.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2008

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