Early Molting?


Jul 7, 2020
I’ve had my chickens since April of this year. I didn’t think I’d have a molt this year, everything I’ve read says about 18 months. But I’ve had a chicken loosing feathers from her head and neck, and what looks like new feathers starting to replace them. No roosters, only hens. How early CAN chickens molt? Does this sound like molting? Egg production is definitely down, I was getting 6 or 7 eggs a day now I’m down to 3 or 4, 5 if I’m lucky.
everything I’ve read says about 18 months.

If what you are reading uses weasel words like may, can, or might, then what you are reading is accurate. If they say it is 100% absolutely sure without a shadow of a doubt each and every time, well that's not quite correct. Some will skip the molt and some won't. The 18 months isn't that accurate either, it depends on when they hatched. What causes the typical fall molt is the nights getting longer. So chickens hatched in March will have a different time frame than chickens hatched in August.

But yes, it sounds like molting.
Just thought I’d add some pics to show y’all what I mean.


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Some pullets will have a partial molt their first fall/winter.
Looks what you're seeing there.
First full adult molt happens their second fall/winter.
All three of my BA pullets are going through a partial molt. Zero eggs since Nov. 19. :hmm

When I first noticed this, I thought the pullet's head had shrunk.
I hope you don’t mind me jumping on your thread! I did a search for the subject because I have concerns for my 16 week old light Brahma. I think she is molting. She is my only Brahma and is with 11 other various breeds and various ages. They have access to a Full Flock feed, oyster shell as well as some layer pellets. I’m thinking, if others agree that this is a molt, that she may be deficient in something. Protein? Vitamins? Or this is a unique problem that Brahmas have due their size? Isn’t she a bit young for this sort of molt? The bare patches on her neck are about the same on both sides.

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