Moulting

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sotelomary, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. sotelomary

    sotelomary Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 5 pullets that hopefully will start laying mid October. I have already noticed loose feathers in the coop. I know that moulting affects egg production. My questions are:

    1. About how many eggs or how often will my pullets lay?

    2. Will the pullets loose all of their feathers or just some?

    3. Will they look really ugly? (I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder!)

    4. Will my silver laced wyandotte have the same pattern/will she look the same after moulting and her new feathers come in? (She's my favorite! I hope so.)

    Thanks a bunch!
     
  2. Metanoia

    Metanoia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2009
    South Australia
    1. mine are ISA browns, so I started getting 1-2 a day as they started laying from 6 chickens, and within 3 weeks of them starting up to 5 a day - one is still not laying yet. I think laying depends on the breed

    2. my pullets barely lost any feathers. They just had a few funny ones around their head as they matured

    3. some moulting birds can look pretty ugly until their feathers grow back in. lol

    4. I have no idea, but I would assume so. I would guess it is like hair or fur, where you'd grow the same colour in the same spots.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas

    1. About how many eggs or how often will my pullets lay?

    There are too many variables to give you a clear answer, not only breed but daylight hours, nutrition, heat or cold, stress, disturbances, and the individual chicken.

    2. Will the pullets loose all of their feathers or just some?

    Different chickens molt differently. They will lose all their feathers, but it is a gradual process. Some new ones will grow in before others have fallen out.

    3. Will they look really ugly? (I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder!)
    Hopefully, yes. The fast molters can get really ugly, but they get over the process faster and return to egg production faster. The ones that stay pretty are the slow molters who can take an extra two or three months to complete the molt with a reduction in egg laying over this time period.

    4. Will my silver laced wyandotte have the same pattern/will she look the same after moulting and her new feathers come in? (She's my favorite! I hope so.)
    There may be some minor changes, especially after the juvenile molts, but a slw will maintain the basic pattern. You probably won't be able to tell any real difference. The lacing will remain.
     

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