Molting hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by twinklemama, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. twinklemama

    twinklemama Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 21, 2011
    I currently have 6 laying hens. 3 of them are just over 2 years old and the other 3 are just over 1. However, none of them have yet to molt. A couple times they have all looked a little rough but then no molt. Is this normal? The 3 oldest are a Red Sex linked, Black Barred, and a White Leghorn. The younger 3 are Rhode Island Reds. Should a molt be coming soon? Less the Leghorn the others have been laying continuously since 9 months of age.
     
  2. DraigAthar

    DraigAthar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 1, 2011
    Plainfield, NH
    Some hens molt more gradually than others. I have a plymouth rock hen who goes all out when she molts, she lost the bulk of her feathers over the span of a week and walked around looking ridiculous for the longest time. My Dominiques tend to do it more gradually, where I'll notice them looking kind of sparse in various parts of their bodies, but never flat out naked anywhere. Usually when they are molting I'll notice a big increase in random loose feathers in the coop and run, even if they don't look so bad. Usually when hens molt, they stop laying. Have you noticed any of your hens stop laying for several weeks and then come back into lay?
     
  3. twinklemama

    twinklemama Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 21, 2011
    No difference at all :( Not sure if that is good or bad. Heck my Red Sex Linked has only missed 6 days of laying since she started laying 15 months ago. The others have more erratic laying in general but never for more than a week of missed laying. I also haven't needed to clip wings again. We used to have a huge problem with them jumping our fence into our neighbors yard.
     
  4. DraigAthar

    DraigAthar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 1, 2011
    Plainfield, NH
    Isn't that interesting, then? Did you keep a light on them through their first winter at all? I know with pullets that I hatch in the spring, they usually don't molt their first winter. They just keep going and save it all up for a molt in their second autumn/winter, heh. Are they the right age for that to be happening?
     
  5. twinklemama

    twinklemama Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 21, 2011
    All our current layers were spring hatches. :) In 3 weeks our oldest will be 2 years exactly. The younger haven't gone through a second winter but the older are just finishing up their second winter. They didn't have a light their first winter but we have had a heat light in their new coop most of the winter as it got much colder this year. They had issues with their eggs breaking for a little while regardless of supplements of oyster shell, but that was do to some edges we later found in lay boxes. Even the one that looks a little rough around the tail is still laying. I just keep thinking it is coming but no I have no idea o_O.
     

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