Molting in February

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TheSmallz, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. TheSmallz

    TheSmallz Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a hen who is molting. It's February in Vermont! We do light our coop. She did not molt this fall, but she is only 10 months old so I didn't expect a molt. I did have some late molts this winter but I figured the warm weather was the cause for their confusion. I see no signs for concern but should I be concerned? No one has laid eggs in a long time but we lost 3 hens to Hawks this fall and they were so freaked out.
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    There have been an inordinate number of us who have had young pullets molt this season. I had a Silver Cuchoo Marans who laid a few eggs around six months, then she went into a partial molt and hasn't laid since. The amount of feathers she left behind everywhere left no doubt she was molting. She's eight months old now and I'm waiting for her to resume laying, but her comb is still the washed out pink color, indicating she's still non-fertile. Only time will tell if this is a molt related pause in laying or something more serious.

    I guess you're in the same boat. I hope both our girls get down to business soon and put our worries to rest.
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Extra lighting can mess up molting. In younger layers, under 18 months, it's not unusual for them to go through a partial or neck molt, they only molt around the neck and head. It can happen in fall or early Spring. An adult molt will include the whole body. And things like stress or being broody can also trigger molts in some birds.
     
  4. TheSmallz

    TheSmallz Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 22, 2013
    Vermont
    I'm not sure if weather is a factor, but on Christmas it was 50 degrees and today is feb 1st and it was close to 50. This is strange for Vermont for sure. It seems like all of my hens molted at different times this year. The one who molted first is finally looking red in the comb again, but who knows if she will lay again soon. Oye!
     
  5. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Most people believe that chickens molt in the fall. While chickens do tend to molt more often in the fall, they can actually molt any time of year. My hens molted in mid summer last year and I know people who have had chickens molt in mid winter, early spring or early summer.

    Like @oldhenlikesdogs said, stress and lighting can cause chickens to molt. Make sure they have at least 12 hours of light each day and make sure nothing is stressing them out.
     

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