Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by texchi, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. texchi

    texchi In the Brooder

    Nov 7, 2008
    would someone be so kind to explain "molting"? why chickens do it, how long it last and what do i look for to know they are molting??

    FLOWERPOT Songster

    Mar 13, 2008
    Southern Indiana
    All I can tell you about it is that sometimes it is obvious, and sometimes it isnt, You will just start to notice there are an awful lot of feathers laying around! LOL
    Maby someone else will be able to go more into detail.
  3. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    My chickens have molted in October or maybe September of their second year. I’ve thought that the cooling weather prompts this loss of feathers.

    While they regrow their feathers, the hens usually don't lay. Sometimes there are 1 or 2 eggs but there won't be many. If you think about all the feathers that a chicken has, and that these feathers are like 100% protein, it isn't really surprising that they don't have any extra protein to make eggs during this time. Besides, they are missing “insulation [​IMG]

    I know that others have chickens molting now. It is real surprising to me that this is the case but maybe they live in a warmer climate or maybe the housing is different. Or maybe, those birds are just "different."

    They all seem to molt in a somewhat individual way. Without the presence of all the feathers on the ground, it might be difficult to know that some are even molting. Others, end up completely naked. That's a little startling and kind of humorous, as well [​IMG]. It doesn't seem to bother the birds much even if you'd think they'd want to run and hide when company drops by [​IMG].

    If a hen shuts down on laying and begins losing feathers early in the year, it probably means that she will still run late in finishing her molt. It would be nice if they would just get it over with quickly but that isn't always the case. I remember one bird guy telling me that sometimes his flock looks like the "Wreck of the Hesperus." Apparently, that's not so good [​IMG].

    Last edited: Dec 5, 2008
  4. Farmer Brown

    Farmer Brown Songster

    Oct 22, 2008
    Raleigh, NC
    Went out to the coop this morning and found a pile of black feathers in the corner of the run. Looked inside the actual coop and there were twice as many black feathers all over the coop. We only have one black chicken!!! All of our animals are "special" so it would not surprise me that one would start molting in December. This will be our first hen molting [​IMG] I guess? [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: