molting in first year?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mother o' chicks72, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. mother o' chicks72

    mother o' chicks72 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2011
    Portland, Oregon
    I've heard that chickens do not molt in their first year. is this true? because I went outside to find that my 8 month old black australorps head looked very small and her back feathers were sticking out. I picked her up to find that she has lost a bunch of feathers around her head and neck and the rumpled feathers were loose. is she molting? she does not appear to be sick.
     
  2. greenegglover

    greenegglover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Im not a expert, but sometime birds that were hatched early in the year can molt their first winter.
     
  3. mother o' chicks72

    mother o' chicks72 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2011
    Portland, Oregon
    she was hatched in march or possibly april. should she be molting?
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    They do go through a sort of mini-molt at around 9-10 months old usually. It's not that noticeable with most birds, though I've had a rare case when one will actually lose some weight. It seems to show mostly around the neck area. There's also a feather explosion around 20 weeks old as they're getting their adult feathers, but they go through several teeny molts as they mature, just not the BIG ONE, which happens at around 18-20 months old.
     
  5. mother o' chicks72

    mother o' chicks72 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2011
    Portland, Oregon
    alright. yeah it's not too major seeming, just kinda bald around her upper neck and a few loose feathers on her back.
     
  6. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    May 11, 2011
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    Ours are 18 weeks tomorrow and have been molting (mildly compared to a lot of chickens I've seen) since mid-September. At first, it was their primary flight feathers and saddles. As those started coming back, they started blowing head/neck feathers (the back of our BA's neck was pretty bald for a bit). Now they're dropping all of the gorgeous tail feathers that they seem to have just grown in a few months ago. [​IMG]

    So, based on experience, I'd say that they certainly can molt within their first year. [​IMG]
     
  7. Alethea

    Alethea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2011
    If they don't have mites/lice, then it is a normal molt. Chickens change their feathers twice before getting their adult set.
     
  8. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:I've read this as well.

    Wondering if it possible for a hen from 2010 to NOT moult this fall? I have a production red who hasn't started to moult, and it is November 7th.. It's going to get very cold here soon, and I would rather her not be naked in the full force of winter [​IMG]
     
  9. aubreynoramarie

    aubreynoramarie designated lawn flamingo

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    Reno, Nevada
    Most chickens go through a juvenile moult, but none of mine had a REAL moult until their second year
     
  10. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mine all had a small molt at about 15 weeks. I think it's common to have another around 9-10 months, especially if that is right about now, when days are getting shorter. Good idea to give some protein treats to help them grow new feathers.
    I used to raise peafowl and boy, can they molt! And when the feathers start growing, you can practically see them grow, they grow so fast! I'm sure it must take a lot of energy and protein to grow those long tails, so I always threw them some cheap cat food when they were molting and growing their tails.
     

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