Is this a molt?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bylisa, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. bylisa

    bylisa Hatching

    Aug 6, 2014
    I've had Buff Orpingtons for three summers now. I've never seen a molt where I am sure that is what it is. I thought molts were in the fall, but for the last two-three months, egg production is WAY down and fine little feathers are everywhere, as well as the occasional bigger feather. They're eating well, no signs of parasites like mites or lice, and no signs of other disease. They are free range (about 3 acres) and have access to all the dust they want. I hatched some eggs last year, and bought some this year as well as hatched a few. Food hasn't changed (ever) and their waterer works fine. It has been a weird summer (much cooler than usual). Can anybody help this relative newbie? Thanks!
  2. julesisthehen

    julesisthehen In the Brooder

    Aug 5, 2014
    I have a year and a half BR molting right now, and it has been a relatively hot summer. Even if it is a tiny, minor molt, the egg production will go down, because of their need for protein to grow back feathers, they will slow down or stop laying eggs to focus all of their energy on the newcoming feathers. It essentially looks like a chicken has exploded in the coop for me, since this is a larger molt, but they egg production slowing down is very normal. After they grow the feathers back, it can take a while to start laying again, but it will happen. Hope this helps!
  3. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    If you're in the northern hemisphere, fall molt has already begun. Molt can be as quick as a month, or take up to a year. It can be radical with severe feather loss, appetite disruption, and weight loss, or discrete where, over a period of several months during an unlikely time of the year such as winter, a few feathers will be lost and replaced at a time so as you'd hardly notice.

    From the little you describe, it does sound like you have molt going on.
  4. Aronia

    Aronia Songster

    Apr 8, 2014
    St. Catharines, ON
  5. bylisa

    bylisa Hatching

    Aug 6, 2014
    If there are any other details I can give, I will. Just let me know. I will add that I've had a light on in the coop over winters, and I understand that reduces production for hens quicker. But this has been going on all summer, and like I said, I thought molts were in the fall. Thanks for all the helpful comments! I appreciate the chance to get feedback from those much more experienced than I.

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