molting chickens


7 Years
Nov 19, 2012
I have several chickens all 18 months or younger. Today one of my older hens seems to have lost A LOT of feathers. So I guessed she is molting. She is a Bramha the biggest of all my chickens. They all eat layer pellets and are not free ranged. Any pointers on this??? It is my first molt :) Im a little concerned because it is so cold at night now. Thanks


Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
South Georgia

Most of mine are molting, too. It is not unusual this time of year. They use extra protein to grow new feathers, so a little supplement is a good idea if you can. Meat scraps are ideal, or you could pick up a bag of game bird feed which is usually higher protein, or black oil sunflower seeds. If your chickens and pets and like to be handled, this could change for the duration of the molt as they seem to be a bit irritable during this time. Just provide them a nice draft free place to sleep and they will get through it on their own.


10 Years
Apr 8, 2009
Glocester, RI
My girls are all molting too. It looks like a featherbed exploded in thier coop and run. My poor little Silver Spangled Hamburg is almost nothing but quills right now. I try to give them extra protein this time of year - high protein feed mixed with thier regular feed and BOSS for treats. And I have noticed that they all seem to snuggle at little closer together at night. So I wouldn't be too worried.
Last year one of the girls decided to molt in January when it was freezing outside. Bare butt, chest and neck. But she seemed to do fine, no problems.
My RIR, on the other hand, apparently ended up with a bit of a protein deficiency. She started walking sideways like she was drunk. Scared the heck out of me But I checked in here with all the great folks on BYC, found out she just needed a little more protein than the others, and she was fine.
Don't worry (yeah, right. I know.) Or if you do worry, check in here at BYC. You'll be sure to get all the help and support you need.
Good luck.

lorain's fids

8 Years
Jul 9, 2011
New Jersey
All 5 of my chickens who are 18 months old are going through their first molt. There are feathers everywhere, thank goodness it hasn't been to cold out lately. Also egg production has slowed down , I am lucky if I get 2 eggs a day on every other day. Also they have become homebodies, none of them really are venturing out of their run.When I'm home I leave the run door open, but since the molt started they are content just hanging out in the run.

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