molting at only 3 months or another reason for losing feathers?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ArizonaDesertChicks, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

    Dec 8, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
    Our 11 pullets are 3 months old, obviously not laying yet, and there are feathers everywhere in their run & coop (LOTS of feathers). The feathers I see in the run are all sizes, soft fluffy ones, and longer tail feathers. I also notice loose feathers in the yard too.

    They don't have any bald spots and still have their tails. I haven't caught them picking at each other. They free range for about 4-5 hours a day. When they are first let out of their run, I've seen them drop feathers as they run flapping their wings.

    Could they be molting at this young age? I didn't think chickens molted until they were older and laying. They are still on starter/grow crumbles. Besides the crumbles, they free range (we still have some green grass & green weeds here where we live), and I give them occasional treats of apple or tomato, etc. Could they be losing feathers because of their diet or is this their first molt?
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    You know, I think it must be our weather. I have half of my hens moulting now. They didn't moult before. Most were born 4/25/08 so that makes them 8.5 months old. Crazy huh?

    I hope they get it out of their system and start laying.

    None of my leghorns laid today but I got 6 brown eggs and 2 cream colored eggs from my EEs.
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I asked this last summer when my sussexes etc were about that same age. It was gently pointed out to me by some kind souls that if chickens kept the same little feathers they had as two-month-olds clear thru into adulthood, they would look pretty stupid <g> Indeed mine grew back bigger-sized feathers. So I am going to vote for growth-related feather replacement, dunno whether that *technically* gets called a molt or not.

    Have fun,

  4. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

    Dec 8, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
  5. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    They will shed a lot of baby feathers as they grow.
  6. FrontPorchIndiana

    FrontPorchIndiana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2008
    Yep, and they might do it again about 9 months old.

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