1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

How often do chickens molt?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 2chickenrich, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. 2chickenrich

    2chickenrich Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 7, 2008
    Perry, Georgia
    how old are they when they start ? How long dose it last ? It looks painful from the pictures on this site . I had no idea .
  2. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

    Jun 27, 2008
    West Central Ohio
    I think some main factors in molting are when they were born, how much they eat, and the individual itself. Since my chicks arrived in September, they started molting a few weeks after we put them in their coop. They were about, 5-6 weeks at the time. How long it takes for them to molt can depend on that individual and/or how much protein they get. Feathers take up a lot of protein. Molting is one of the most stressful times for them depending on how hard their molt is. As far as it being painful, I would imagine it would be just like having your hair fall out unless another chicken purposely pulls it out. If they have a hard molt in the fall/winter and are almost bare, then you really need to make sure the chicken stays warm. I read on here that someone else's chicken took 2 months to grow back all of her feathers. Oh, and also, while a chicken is molting, they do not lay eggs.

    Hope this helped! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2008
  3. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    Generally they go through there first full molt (other than losing chick feathers and growing adult feathers) the fall after their first full spring. In other words, chickens hatched this spring generally won't go through a full molt until the fall of 2009. Keep in mind this does not always old true for all birds, in fact I still have some spring of 2007 hens that have not molted yet. Sure wish they would they look a little ragged.
  4. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    Mine were hatched August last year. I've had one or two losing some feathers now (within the last month)- one lost all her feathers on her chest, neck and tummy and the whole tail gone.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2008
  5. bkbuz1987

    bkbuz1987 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 29, 2008
    Quote:Very helpful! I wasn't sure when my Spring chickens would have their first molt. Thanks [​IMG]
  6. Daycare Mom

    Daycare Mom Chickens, Cuddly and Delicious

    Apr 9, 2008
    Conklin, Michigan
    Quote:This is exactly what I wanted to know and it wasn't even my question....I love this place! [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  7. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

    Jun 27, 2008
    West Central Ohio
    Quote:This is exactly what I wanted to know and it wasn't even my question....I love this place! [​IMG]

    Bare in mind, I am not an expert. But I am glad to help you out. [​IMG]
  8. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    Mar 3, 2008
    All I know is that when my girls go into molt, it looks like someone had a huge pillowfight in the coop!! [​IMG]
    I used to think it was only once a year, but I swear both of my Millies have molted twice this year, and they're over 2 years old. [​IMG]
  9. SGM

    SGM Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Easley, SC
    You know what's funny...... well I don't know if its really "funny". But I had no idea chickens molted like this. I mean, I've had chickens off and on for a couple years now and never had one do it before now. Now some of my layers look like someone put duct tape on them and ripped it off. LOL All I see is a rough looking down on their backs. They were gorgous when I got them too. Its been close to a month now I'd say. Wish they'd refeather already! Oh and mine are still laying!
  10. Attack Chicken

    Attack Chicken [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Hu

    Sep 25, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    Mine started molting at the worst time of the year. They hatched in about April and decided to molt during the fair -.-

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by