Is This a Molt, Prelude to Molt, or Something Else?


Anachronistic Anomaly
11 Years
May 11, 2011
West Virginia
My Coop
My Coop
All five of our chickens were hatched on July 5th. Our Dom and BR are still working out some fluff and such on their heads and necks, but our Wellie, BA, and EE are fully feathered.

For the past 2-3 weeks we've been finding feathers from all of them here and there. We're assuming that's normal. However, over the past week we started to find and have been finding a whole lot of feathers from our EE. She doesn't look bad, or even a bit ratty (yet), but it seems like she should start to any time now with all of the feathers we're seeing. Is she molting...or should she be molting? Will any of the molt for winter this year?

I thought they chickens didn't molt until the fall after their first spring, but I know there are exceptions to the rules and there has been an awful lot of feathers.
Little chicks have these little mini molts as they grow, because they're trading in their baby feathers for adult feathers...So that is perfectly normal.
They go through three sets of feathers during their first year of life. First set of flight feathers erupting by hatch. First set of body feathers starting showing up by three weeks and second set of flight feathers usually start by 4 weeks. The first adult feather set of flight feather starts coming in by 12 weeks with completion by time birds are about 6 months old. Body feather turnover is not so discrete and harder to read based on feathers on ground since those feathers are so quickly eaten by birds themselves. My games are a little slower on upper end (timing for later feather sets to come in) than domininques and much slower than California greys so genetics is a factor.

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