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Molt at what age?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by elite8, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. elite8

    elite8 In the Brooder

    May 16, 2010
    40/42 North Carolina
    I have a young buff orp that was born in June. It is either her or her sister that just started laying eggs. She has lost many feathers in an area on her back between her wings and lower neck. The area is still covered by down for the most part. This started a week or two ago and she has not lost feathers anywhere else. She does appear very healthy and acts normally. I also have a 10 month old wellsummer that stopped laying eggs and is losing feathers on her neck. Not too worried about her or should I be? Don't they start molting on the top of their neck and it gradually works down? I should add that I also have a young rooster, same age as the buff orp and he has started mounting the hens. He is very gentle though believe it or not and is not aggressive. None of the other hens are losing feathers. At what age and what time of year do most hens molt? Thanks

  2. Ms.FuzzyButts

    Ms.FuzzyButts Songster

    Sep 5, 2009
    North Alabama
    I would be willing to bet that it's because of your rooster.. My rooster has his favorite hens, and it is those hens that loose feathers between their wings like you are describing.. I had to buy them some hen sadles so he wouldn't keep ripping them of feathers. As for your other question about molting, they will generally not molt until they are a year old or older.. So if she was born in June, she should not experience a full molt until fall of next year..

    Edit for spelling.. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010
  3. elite8

    elite8 In the Brooder

    May 16, 2010
    40/42 North Carolina
    Thanks for your input. I thought this was a little early...hardly even an adult. Buff orps do have soft feathers. I wonder if they come off easier. I'll have to see if I can find a saddle. Do they need to wear it all the time?
  4. emjay

    emjay Songster

    Sep 6, 2009
    I have two pullets moulting right now. They won't be a year until beginning of March. They both have lost their feathers on their neck and face area. They have all the new barbs ready to go for the new feathers, so I think your one bird could definitely be doing a small moult. They aren't moulting like my one year old hens just finished doing, but, they are doing so. Just the two are, their 4 other roommates are still full of feathers.
  5. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    I don't have a rooster, so I can't speak to that, but I have two April hatched pullets that are in various stages of molting.
  6. BankerJohn

    BankerJohn Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    Lecanto, Florida
    I am no expert on this at all. I do know that my 7 hens were hatched in early March 2010. 3 weeks ago, egg prduction dropped off a cliff and now there are feathers all over the coop/pen. After 3 weeks, I have 2 hens laying again.

    This is my first experience with keeping chickens so I don't know if this is a molt or not.

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