How long do chickens molt??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by hoosierhen, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. hoosierhen

    hoosierhen Songster

    Sep 26, 2007
    My chickens are molting and look pretty scraggly. Some of them have patches of new feathers coming in, some of them have bald spots, and some are just losing feathers here and there.
    Questions: 1. How long do they molt? 2. Is there something I should do to boost their nutrition during molt? 3. I have noticed a sharp decline in egg production which I believe is normal, considering the stress of molting-but I have also noticed some misshapen eggs and 1 "leather" egg with no shell, even though I supplement with oyster shell. Your advice please.
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I have not yet gone through a molt with my chickens (although I'm thinking it will be anytime now since my older ones are 19 months old), but what I've read on here is that you can expect them to molt for 6 to 8 weeks. Some chickens completely stop laying eggs during that time.

    I would assume the other issues are related to the molt but someone with more experience needs to chime in and tell you for sure.

    NYREDS Crowing

    Jan 14, 2008
    1. Until they're done. Which isn't a flippant answer. The time can vary greatly. Some seem to drop feathers all at once & recover very quickly, others seem to take forever.
    2. Increasing their protein during molting isn't a bad idea. Dry cat food works well for this. Canned fish (Mackerel or Salmon) is good too as it also provides good fats.
    3. Again wide variety of responses. Some lay all the way through the molt, some not at all. The unusual eggs you described are a result of the stress of molting too.
  4. Jerseychickens

    Jerseychickens In the Brooder

    Oct 24, 2009
    Going through first molt for two of my chickens. Scary sight to see. I am concerned that they will not grow back quickly and the night are getting cold already.
    Is this something to be very concerned about. going to try and fatten them up a bit with protein. That was a good suggestion I read here.
  5. MaureenL128

    MaureenL128 Songster

    May 24, 2010
    Long Island, NY
    Hi all. I am going through the same exact thing here with 2 of my girls for the first time. They have stopped laying eggs for a couple of weeks now. Here's what they look like. I guess it just takes time.
    you can see blackies bare bottm in the last one.
  6. ChirpNEggBaby

    ChirpNEggBaby In the Brooder

    Nov 19, 2011
    West Central, FL
    We all need bumper stickers that say "MOLTS HAPPEN"...esp. if its a bird that has a show coming up! LOL
  7. keita

    keita In the Brooder

    Jul 3, 2012
    Matthews, NC
    My four girls are all in various stages of molting. They stopped laying eggs about 2-3 weeks ago and are eating less as well. They seem happy and healthy enough otherwise. Even when they are free ranging, they spend more time relaxing than they used to and take more dirt baths. I was worried about the amount of feathers in their pen but i guess that isn't going to hurt anything. They certainly are interesting looking, I'll say that!
    mosse71 likes this.
  8. BunnyLover44

    BunnyLover44 Songster

    Apr 7, 2013
    Orlando Flordia
    My just started to molt... Do I have to change her feed off layer feed and how can I help her??
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2014
  9. Mychicks56

    Mychicks56 Chirping

    Jun 3, 2017
    All of a sudden my 7 hens stopped laying eggs! I was getting 7 a day now some days I get 1 everyone says they must be molting but, I don't see any missing feathers is there something else that can be going on?
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Something else at play stopping egg production. Stress can stop them so check for feed quality and heat issues first. Then check to see if they are using nest you do not know. Also check for egg eaters that can include chickens themselves. Some chickens like mine have already begun to molt for 2018. Replacement only of flight feathers of wings with completion of that not until November / December. Replacement of tail feathers and body feathers will start in July / August and be complete about time last wing feathers are swapped out. During replacement of body and tail feathers in when I see impacts on egg production, but not when just wing feathers are involved as part of normal molt cycle.

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