Molting question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chick423, Jul 10, 2016.

  1. Chick423

    Chick423 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 14, 2016
    Tucson, AZ
    Hi all!!!!

    Can you guys help me out with this molting dilemma I have?? How can I tell when my girls start molting?

    My chicken coop looks like a plumage debacle every morning! I count them at all times to make sure they are all there! My husband is starting to worry about me since it's all I think about!

    I have 4 girls laying out of 10 hens and one rooster. 5 hens are still 4 months so I know they won't lay yet but Eleanor is a year old now (bantam) who went broody for over a month, I gave her chicks from the store, she's raised them, they both are 3 months old now but she has yet to lay another egg since! Her feathers are all fluffy and they look new. Could she be molting??

    Keep in mind I live in Arizona and the temps haven't dropped under 100 for over a month now. I just thought they didn't molt until fall.

    Any info would be appreciated! Thanks guys!

    The crazy chicken lady! [​IMG]
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I’ve had broody hens molt when raising chicks, but that’s normally late August or September. They are often back to laying by the time the others start molting and stop laying eggs. July seems early for yours.

    Juvenile chickens molt twice before they reach adult size. They outgrow their feathers and need to replace them. That’s probably a lot of what you are seeing. There are no set ages for that, it can vary from brood to brood.

    The main molt is generally when the days get shorter, but there are other things that can cause a mini-molt. It’s generally some kind of stress. Running out of water for a while, a predator attack, a change to the pecking order, many things could kick off a mini-molt. Maybe your heat is to blame? I don’t know.
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Spring Dreaming Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Chickens start to lose feathers this time a year, it isn't an actual molt yet, that usually happens from August to December. I think it's more of a thinning of the feathers due to the warmer temperatures as I see feathers every year long before the molt officially happens. Your rooster will probably molt before the hens. Your young birds are still going through baby molts so that could be some of what you are seeing. Another month or so and some will start molting, especially poor production hens.

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