Is My Rooster Molting?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ejcrist, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm in my first year raising chickens and all my pullets are 9 months old now. I bought my Barred Rock rooster from a breeder and he turned 1 year old in July (the rooster not the breeder), and I suspect he's molting but I've never witnessed a molt before so I'm hoping someone can confirm that's what he's undergoing. I noticed his feathers starting to look a little ratty, like he had split ends about two weeks ago. Today I noticed he has a pretty big bald spot on his neck. I took a few pictures and only got one good one of his neck, and even then you have to look carefully to see it. Anyway, if anyone can chime in and confirm he's molting I'd appreciate it. I inspect all my birds regularly about once a week and never saw any signs of mites or anything. I got a bag of Nutrena Feather Fixer and started mixing it in their food today mostly for the rooster's benefit, but I read it's good for all the birds which is a good thing since mine are winding down their first year of hard laying and could use a little extra protein to help their feathers look a little better.

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  2. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yup looks like it.
     
  3. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, cool. That's what I figured was going on but it's nice to get a confirmation. Books can take you a long way but there's no better teacher than experience. Thanks for your input.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Sure does look like it.
    Did you just get him?

    If you look closely you may see new 'pin' feathers growing in.


    I like to feed a flock raiser/grower/finisher 20% protein crumble full time to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat. I do grind up the crumbles (in the blender) for the chicks for the first week or so.

    The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer. I adjust the amounts of other feeds to get the protein levels desired with varying situations.

    Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

    Animal protein (mealworms, a little cheese - beware the salt content, meat scraps) is provided during molting and if I see any feather eating.
     
  5. BrittsChickens

    BrittsChickens New Egg

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    My roo is about 3 1/2 months (14 weeks) old (I took him in when he was about 9 weeks old so I don't know his actually age). The day before yesterday I noticed pin feathers on the back of his neck and feathers of all sizes are all over the coop... I give my chickens an in-depth inspection every 2 weeks, but I haven't seen any mites, lice (or eggs), or damage done by fellow coop-mates. We are getting into cooler weather, so I'm wondering if he may be molting??? He is just so young! He is my only roo (I have 3 pullets who are 18 weeks old- not laying or showing signs of molting) and he is the top of the "pecking order" in my flock.
    Last weekend I added 3 babies to my happy little family, so I suppose it could be stress-related? One of my pullets adopted the 3 chicks... but no one else has changed their behavior. They all free range in the afternoon/evening and come into the coop at night- they all sleep in the same nesting box (even Charlie).

    Any thoughts would be appreciated!
     
  6. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm certainly no expert but I read they won't molt until their 2d year. And then I believe they might do a partial or full molt. I wouldn't think your cock would be molting at this point - too young. Again though take that with a grain of salt because I'm not speaking from experience but book knowledge only.
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    All young birds go through multiple molts as they grow, otherwise they would grow out of their feathers. Sorry quoted the wrong post.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Yep, 12-14 weeks is the last juvenile molt and a big one....feathers everywhere and pin feathers coming in.
     
  9. BrittsChickens

    BrittsChickens New Egg

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    Thanks everyone! I love BYC- tons of experience on here!
     

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