How early for first molt?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Lil Chickie Mama, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. Lil Chickie Mama

    Lil Chickie Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 1, 2009
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    My chickies are 18 weeks old and haven't laid an egg yet. I have Lav. Ameraucanas, and bantam brown leghorns (I think) and no one is laying yet. One of the little bantam girls started to do the egg drop dance but I've only seen her do it once about week ago. Anyway, there are a lot of feathers all over the place, but no one looks scraggaly. They still look very beautiful. Do they just lose a lot of feathers normally or can they molt this early? It's been pretty hot here though I do have shade, it's been around 96-100 and sometimes higher on the hottest days. Oh and they get sun about 13-14 hours I guess.
     
  2. Mrs.Puff

    Mrs.Puff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They're not moulting, just growing new grown-up feathers. Don't worry about it.
     
  3. Lil Chickie Mama

    Lil Chickie Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 1, 2009
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    WOW that was fast. Thank you for your reply, this is my first time with chickens! I appreciate the help.
     
  4. GwenDellAnno

    GwenDellAnno Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 18, 2009
    Water Valley, AB
    Yes, they are moulting... at least partially..... I found this article last night which explained alot of what I'm seeing also. Keep in mind that I think it is written by someone in the southern hemisphere (ie. either Australia or New Zealand), so their spring and fall are reversed from ours. (It took me a bit to figure this out... duh [​IMG] Anyways..... here it is.

    I think those who get eggs before 22 weeks are likely feeding very well (maybe even those that are free-ranged?). Otherwise, the chickens will need all that protein to keep those feathers comin'.
     
  5. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Chicks go thru what is called a Juvenile molt where they are losing feathers as they mature. Adult chickens can molt usually the second year or 18 months really hard, some you almost don't notice but a few feathers here and there.
     

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