My chickens are all molting at the same time?!?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Kickin' Chick'n, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. Kickin' Chick'n

    Kickin' Chick'n New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Mar 13, 2011
    A little bit of background about the specifics of my situation...

    I have eight various breed chickens living in an Eglu Cube with an extended run. They all have access to our large, fenced in yard at all times. I have checked them all, and found no evidence of mites or fleas. I've cleaned out the Eglu (part of the appeal of the Eglu was the plastic housing that's less likely to harbor parasites) and haven't seen any indication of problems. And absolutely no eggs! The last couple eggs our chickens laid were late October. No eggs hidden around the yard, and no chickens hanging out in the nest box.

    Our chickens look terrible! Most of the feathers they've lost came from their heads, their necks and their stomachs. And if they all decided to molt, why now? The high temperatures are in the low 40's, and the lows get to the mid 20's. We don't have enough chicken sweaters for all of them!

    Any advice/ideas are greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    39,736
    1,248
    516
    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    It's not the cold that triggers the molt, it's the shorter days. (less light)

    They don't lay while molting. It takes roughly 3 months for them to start laying again. They don't need to be covered, as long as there are no drafts in the coop, they'll be fine.
     
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Yep - it's that time of year. I don't feel too badly for the molters in warm weather areas, but I hate to see my poor, scraggly looking molters standing there huddled up with their heads all tucked in in this cold weather [​IMG] Don't you wish they molted mid summer instead??? Many of us have eggless, molting birds right now...lol.
     
  4. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,852
    32
    249
    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    Yup.

    One of our year old d'Uccles lost all of the feathers on her underside. Bare skin! She looked like she was getting herself ready to go into a roasting pan, poor thing.

    Fortunately, she feathered back in fairly quickly. While she was bare, I did bring her inside at night and let her bed down in a shavings filled dog crate. She tends to get picked on by the other hens, and I was actually more worried about that than the temperature.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by