Molting at less than one year of age?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by UrbanEnthusiast, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. UrbanEnthusiast

    UrbanEnthusiast Songster

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    Jul 12, 2012
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    One of our hens stopped laying about a week ago, her comb is pitifully pink, she's cranky, and her feathers are all over the place. I know this sounds like a molt, especially this time of year, but she's not even quite a year old yet. Is it possible for hens to molt that young? Also, I'm really only seeing her fluffy under-feathers lying around, very few long ones, and there are no visible bald patches (she looks the same as ever save for her comb). Is this typical of the early stages of a molt? We have two other hens who were hatched within two weeks of her and they're showing no signs of molting or stress/illness. Until this episode she had been laying every single day ever since she first laid back in the spring.

    (Sorry I can't provide reliable info as to her breed. I've been meaning to upload some pics of her to ask opinions about what breed she is. The farmer we got her from as a chick said she's a blue-laced red Wyandotte with a messed up phenotype. She is all blue, lays medium-sized white eggs, is tiny compared to our gold-laced Wyandotte, and has a huge, single comb, so who knows? I would say blue Leghorn but her breasts are too large and her carriage is too horizontally oriented for a Leghorn, I think. To me she looks very much like pics I've seen of Blue Andalusians, but why would the breeder lie and say she's a Wyandotte?)
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing

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    Yes, they have a "mini molt" around 9 months old. Sounds like what is happening.
     
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator

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    Yep, I've had 9 month old birds molt before. Usually it's not a severe molt, but enough to cause them to quit laying.
     
  4. UrbanEnthusiast

    UrbanEnthusiast Songster

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    Jul 12, 2012
    Port Orford, Oregon
    Thanks for the tips! She's very nearly a year old, well past nine months.
     

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