MOLTING

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by alanb, May 12, 2009.

  1. alanb

    alanb Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG] MOLTING ; Is there any given time of year that layer's go into their molt stage ? ... I'm afraid of loosing my egg volume and customer sales !!! ALAN B .
     
  2. Domestic_goddess

    Domestic_goddess Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For mine, it's early spring! They will slow or stop laying during that time. Good luck to you!
     
  3. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    I read that it is after about 1 year of laying, so 17-18 months. This has always held true for me. Hatched the middle of April, laying the end of August, molting the next September etc. A good layer will lay for a year or more before molting. Hope this helps.
     
  4. LilbitChicken

    LilbitChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not fond of that part of a stage in the chickens life..... I am new to chickens, how sad looking. [​IMG] But Granted their feathers to grow back....
     
  5. cposz

    cposz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our two hens are molting for the first time now in the spring, so I'm glad to hear that someone else's chickens molt in the spring - if they weren't laying so well, I would suspect something was wrong with them because I'd always read that they are supposed to molt in the fall.

    Whew!

    I expect their laying to stop during this time, but I'm glad it hasn't yet!
     
  6. MoodyChicken

    MoodyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Birds hatched in the spring and summer molt the following year in the late summer/early fall. Birds hatched in winter molt the following spring. That's the general rule at least.
     
  7. GaDawg

    GaDawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks for this post, good info..

    how long will a molt usually last?
     
  8. ChickensInTheNorthWoods

    ChickensInTheNorthWoods Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine are going through their molt now - Surprisingly I still get a few eggs a day except for my crested polish they have stopped completely.
     
  9. MoodyChicken

    MoodyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Depends whether they are fast or slow molters. But it generally takes 2-4 months. You can guesstimate how far into molt they are by checking the primary feathers. Feathers are lost one feather tract at a time (head feather tract, wings, femoral feather tract, etc). I don't remember what week they start losing the wing feathers (I think it's a few weeks in), but when they do start the wing tract they lose one primary a week, starting with the innermost and ending with the outermost. Also, the first tract to go is usually the head or neck, and the last is the tail (mine never seem to follow this though, lol). It's not spot on but it helps you figure out how long they've got to go.
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    MoodyChicken is correct. This Mississippi State site gives a little more detail on molting.

    http://msucares.com/poultry/management/poultry_feathers.html

    Molting often occurs in the fall when the daylight hours are reduced, but it can occur anytime. Molting can be caused by stress. Chickens going without water can start a molt so don't let your layers run out of water.

    Many people provide light in the winter to keep their hens laying. Often in the spring, people will stop providing this light because the days are getting longer but the chickens see it as a reduction in the length of daylight and will start a molt.
     

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