Molting at 9 months?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by FoxRiverRat, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. FoxRiverRat

    FoxRiverRat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2016
    Hi all,

    1st time chicken owner, we got our cinnamon queens 4/6/16 as baby chicks. I recently started to notice some feather loss and figured it was molting but then just read it normally doesn't happen until 18 months.

    Can this be an early molt or is something going on with their health? They seem healthy/happy otherwise.

    Thanks all :)

  2. TeeMom

    TeeMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2016
    I haven't attempted to research this, but I also have 2 Ameraucana pullets that were hatched at the end of March and are just coming through a molt now. They suddenly stopped laying and looked horrible. They now have new feathers coming in everywhere. They are otherwise healthy and eating and acting normally. Horrible time to molt as it is so cold here now.
  3. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    My six all started a molt at eight-nine months. Exactly. All started at the same time. Mid-October. I upped their protein in their food. They are just now finishing. It was a slow partial molt, nothing extreme.

    I was initially worried, but they are just fine. Other chicken owners here confirmed this can happen and has happened to theirs...probably brought on by reduced daylight hours. They just got triggered!
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  4. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    The other possibility with feather loss at that age is an over amorous cockerel, if you have one on your flock. Pullets and hens show feather loss on their shoulders, back and neck where the male holds on during mating.
  5. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    True this! I don't have any roos, wonder if the OP does?

    Also, look at the girls' combs lightened a great deal and now they are starting to redden up a bit...I watched them for several days cause these can be signs of illness too! They all stopped laying abruptly as well.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Yes, sadly it is possible and quite common.
    I have several 9-10 month old's going thru a partial molt right now,
    of course it's the ones who had already started laying and now are not laying because of the molting.

    Look for new pin feather growth to ascertain if it's a molt or feather picking or rooster wear.

    And it's another good reason not to use layer feed.
    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.
    Danadoo6 likes this.
  7. FoxRiverRat

    FoxRiverRat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2016
    Thank you all!!! No rooster, so I guess just an early molt. I appreciate your replies

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