molting before first lay?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jefchix, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. jefchix

    jefchix New Egg

    Sep 17, 2009
    I got chickens about 7 weeks ago and was told they were about 17 weeks old at that time, making them now around 24 weeks. I have one leghorn, one easter egger and one barred rock. None have started to lay and the leghorn and barred rock look like they are starting to molt, losing lots of feathers around neck and some all over. None of them have very large or red comb and waddles. I live in Western Washington so it is starting to get cold here.

    Are they just too young still to not lay? Are they suppose to be losing feather like that? Does it seem like they should be much more matured (comb and waddle) for this age or is it just the cold weather that is slowing there maturation? I am confused and feel that they should be starting or at least appear ready to lay soon but at the looks of them feel they are way off from laying still. Frustrated.
  2. vstoltzfus

    vstoltzfus Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2009
    Lancaster County, PA
    My understanding and experience is that chickens lose what I consider their "baby feathers", sometimes at an alarming rate. My hens did, and it didn't interfere with their laying.
  3. jefchix

    jefchix New Egg

    Sep 17, 2009
    bump. Any other ideas?
  4. TexasVet

    TexasVet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 12, 2008
    Willis TX
  5. jefchix

    jefchix New Egg

    Sep 17, 2009
    Definitely not old birds. They have grown significantly since we got them and they had virtually no combs or waddles when we got them.
  6. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

  7. Sooner

    Sooner My kids Mom!

    Mar 22, 2009
    I have never had any of my less than year olds molt, my spring hatch (March 09) are just starting to lay well and none are molting. All of the older girls are in various stages of molt. At 17 weeks they should of already lost the "baby fuzz".
  8. flakey chick

    flakey chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2007
    My BR had a major mini-molt before she started laying. Now that she is having her first true molt- watch out. It looks like a chicken exploded feathers in the coop. She is super-grumpy for this molt, but the baby molt didn't really seem to bother her. I think it may be a breed thing.

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