Is my chicken molting?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chick-habit, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. chick-habit

    chick-habit Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2016
    los angeles, ca
    My 9 month old frizzle Cochin leaves a trail of feathers everywhere she goes for the last 3 days.
    Could she be molting?
    Do hens molt in the winter?
    Is she too young for a molt?
    She seems otherwise fine and just came out of being broody a week ago.
    We introduced baby chicks to the flock two weeks ago. The transition has been smooth and the top hen adopted the chicks. My hen that is losing feathers seems fine with the chicks and isn't picked on by the mama hen. But I'm wondering if the introduction of the chicks could've stressed her out enough to make her lose feathers. (Even though it didn't appear stressful to me) Advice please. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Shazam Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Some hens will molt after being broody, so my guess is it triggered one.
  3. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2016
    NW Missouri
    Very well could be molting. Stress can trigger out of the ordinary molting.
  4. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2015
    SW Ohio
    I had a late "molter" this year. Our hens are almost 2 y.o., 5 of the 6 molted this past fall, but I have 1 molting right now. They do molt off & on while maturing so as long as there are no parasites, I wouldn't be concerned.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I've had youngsters molt before.... 9-10 months....had several do it this winter.
  6. lutherpug

    lutherpug Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 5, 2014
    Kansas City, MO
    My Dominique had her first molt at 8 months old during the coldest weeks of winter. I was baffled-I didn't think chickens molted before they're a year old, let alone in the middle of winter but turns out they do :)

    With my hen it didn't last long-she seemed to have grown most of her feathers back after a month or so.
  7. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 2, 2014
    North Canton, Ohio
    Just learning more about this molting thing. My first batch of chickens didn't molt the first time until this fall almost 3 yrs old, while one of my Australorps was only 6 months old when she went broody then immediately went molting a month later. On the other hand some of my 18 months old hens were molting since November 2016 then 2 just started molting a week ago. So I've never experienced molters except juvenile molts until this last few months. Seems like 3 generations of chickens went moulting @almost the same season.
  8. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    western PA
    My Coop
    feed birds older then 16 weeks and in molt Naturewise Feather Fixer feed. It will regrow the most lovely quality feathers and the hens may even lay thru the molt. Some BYCer's recommended it to me and wow was I impressed. Such lovely shiny healthy feathers my birds grew in!
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Shazam Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I don't think your birds could have gone 3 years without molting, they would have been in horrible shape. Some can molt without you noticing, taking several months to do so.

    It has been a bit of an odd year for molting this past season and into the new year.

    There are actually a couple types of molts. The juvenile, the full adult molt done in the fall, stress molting which can happen after being broody, neck molts that happen in the spring where they just molt around the head, and in spring and early summer many birds will lose some of their thick down to lighten the coat for the spring and summer months.
  10. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 2, 2014
    North Canton, Ohio

    Kid you not, they were hatched April 3, 2014 they had mild juvenile feather shedding in July, then started laying eggs August/Sept 2014. I'd been waiting for them to molt Sept/Oct 2015 (approx. 17-19 months old) thru winter but no feather shedding (since I'd been reading about molts) and neither slow down in productions, they continue laying eggs until Oct 2016 when they started molting they totally stopped productions, 2 can barely perch and they slept on floor level nest at night for 2-4 wks which I let them since they want to be left alone and pin feathers were all coming out and they look weak, besides I got 12 other nests that doesn't get the night poop. They are fully feathered by mid December. I got 7 original flock (leghorns, Wyandottes & barred rocks) all will be 3 yrs old by April 3rd only the 2 Wyandottes had come back to laying a week ago.

    Now my 9 hens (1 yr & 10 months olds) are all on molt schedule. Two RIR just started molting couple of wks ago while the other 8 (FBCMs, Blue Marans, & Barred Rocks) are about done since they started in the fall, half of them are beautifully feathered and started laying again.

    Most of my eggs this winter are from my Spring 2016 batch. Reason I raise new batch every year due to molting anticipation and retiring the 3 yr olds before the major 2nd molt. Just didn't had the courage to do so since they were my first layers, so I procrastinated and they went moulting (the very first time) and I feed them 20% Flock Raiser & sunflower seeds while they're on winter vacay. I only used supplement light for 2.5 hours in the morning for logistic purpose of feeding/watering and cleaning the coop before I go to work.

    Sorry this got too lengthy, but I just want to get my story across, don't get me wrong, I respect and devour all the infos and advise I get from all of you guys that's been in this chicken business for a while with lots of wisdom. While am writing this "novel" I keep on checking the temp of my brooder in the garage for my 4th generation layers since I just moved them from my wife's laundry room before they generate dust.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by