ojuliana

Hatching
9 Years
Apr 25, 2010
4
0
7
so, my chickens molted, and are not laying. How long?? and are there tricks to get them started again? placing a fake egg?
what helps? thanks sharon
 

RedDrgn

Anachronistic Anomaly
9 Years
May 11, 2011
1,318
81
211
West Virginia
My Coop
Patience.

My roo's been molting since the middle of August. He seems to like to molt different sections of his body and replace all of those feathers before dropping another patch. He's worked his way from the tail forward and is currently recovering hackles, so hopefully he'll be done soon and stop looking so silly!

My EE started molting in September and she is JUST starting to look like a chicken (instead of a bedraggled feather pillow) again. She hasn't laid since she started and is approaching 7 weeks of no eggs. I'm guessing it'll be another month before she's fully recovered all plummage and even thinks about laying again.

My BA and wellie both started molting 3 weeks ago and stopped laying accordingly. They seem to be recovering feathers a bit quicker than the EE, though, so maybe they won't take quite as long.

My DOM and BR haven't "officially" started molting yet. Both are laying, though the BR is laying much less and I expect the feathers to drop in earnest soon.

My point: It may be awhile. Increase their protein intake to help them regrow their feathers, but otherwise, you just have to wait it out. We had to buy eggs for the first time since last December this week. That really sucked, but chickens have to do what chickens have to do and they'll crank up the laying once all of the feathers have re-grown and their bodies recover from the shift in priorities.
 

WalkingOnSunshine

Crowing
11 Years
Apr 8, 2008
4,210
507
328
Ohio
RedDrgn is exactly right. Chicken's gotta do what a chicken's gotta do, and you can't trick them into laying again. They'll lay again when their bodies are ready for it. Some extra protein may help it happen faster, but you just have to be patient. The upside is that the hens will look so beautiful when they're done and have all those lovely new clean feathers.

Right now, I have 65 chickens and am only getting 18 eggs a day. 18! Ugh. I don't like moulting season, either.
 

Den in Penn

Songster
8 Years
Dec 15, 2011
3,418
213
216
SE Pa.
Just wondering why they molt when the weather is colder. Don't they need their feathers for warmth?
There are a couple of things going for the fall molt. First is that they then have a full complete new coat for the winter. If they molted in spring the coat would be worn when it starts to get cold, also in the heat of summer the worn feathers from last year don't hold the heat as well. The second is that if they were to molt in the spring they would have to brood their eggs in the late summer to fall, because they stop laying while growing the feathers.
 

barredrock254

In the Brooder
7 Years
Oct 30, 2012
55
2
31
I have chickens that are molting, and they usually automatically start laying after they grow all their feathers.
 

Hwlchickmama

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jun 12, 2011
78
2
41
OMG!! This is my 1st molt w/ my girls besides the fact that they look pitiful they don't wana be touched :-( thanks every one for the info I feel like its been forever since I've gotten an egg i was getting worried but I guess ill just have to wait it out !!! I just don't want n e one to end up egg bound :-/
 

barredrock254

In the Brooder
7 Years
Oct 30, 2012
55
2
31
Chickens usually molt in the most ridiculous times. It happens, usually, in the fall or winter. I've seen that they lose their competitiveness and don't peck each other as much, so, yeah, I guess they're pouty in a way. I'm not very sure about if they don't move as much.
 

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