Molting

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by djronron, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. djronron

    djronron Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 9, 2015
    Louisiana
    This is my girls first molt. No eggs for about a month now. Molting bad. Feathers all over how long will this last? [​IMG]
     
  2. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 2, 2014
    North Canton, Ohio
    My 18 month olds are also molting, I understand could last for few weeks to few months.
     
  3. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Howdy djronron

    The chickens in your picture do not appear to have lost many feathers (yet) .. beautiful birds!

    Chickens can go through a soft moult which is a gradual loss of feathers over a long period of time or a hard moult in which they lose many feathers, sometimes within the period of a few days.

    It is documented that chickens going through a soft moult may be off the lay for longer than those going through a hard moult. I believe the thought process is that chickens going through a soft moult do this for longer and therefore are off the lay longer whereas hard moult chickens drop most of their feathers in a short period, grow more and return to laying sooner.

    In my experience with moulting, most of my soft moulters have not gone off the lay at all but one did not lay for 6 months. My only hard moulter takes a 3-4 month break.

    Because feathers are largely composed of protein, replacing the feathers is taxing on them which is why egg production decreases or stops. It is a good idea to increase their protein levels when they are moulting to help them out.

    BYC has a good article on what happens when chickens moult: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/what-happens-when-chickens-molt

    This is Dusty, my hard moulter:

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