My girls are molting, about how long will that last?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Britania86, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. Britania86

    Britania86 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 14, 2010
    My female chickens will be one year this march and I can see that they have started to molt, I know that they slow down egg laying but how long do they take to molt. They look so pitiful I feel so sorry for them one has even lost her tail. and do they molt every year.
  2. honeydoll

    honeydoll Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2009
    Stark County, NE Ohio
    I've heard hens usually don't molt until they are two, but early molts have happened. I also heard they will not lay eggs during a molt unless it's a small one. Are you sure they are molting? Do you have a roo, maybe he is rough on them. Or it could be feather picking, if you have no roo? There are various reasons chickens can lose feathers and from what I understand one year is quite young for a chicken to molt. Someone with more knowledge of this will hopefully chime in soon. I believe molting can last for couple of months.

    Last edited: Feb 28, 2011
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Wow...that's a late molt. Most seem to molt in the fall. Most likely they will stop laying through the worst of it. It could last up to two months, but maybe you'll (and your balding birds) get lucky and it'll be less than that. Yes, they will molt every year now, although some chickens go through a slow molt that lasts many months, but you don't notice it much. Others go through a fast molt, and drop most of their feathers within a week or two.
  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
  5. Britania86

    Britania86 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 14, 2010
    Yes, I am sure it is a molt, I have been watching them and the are not going after each other. I know they are not sick, they have slowed there egg laying. so im pretty sure that is what it is. I had chickens when i was little but never payed that much attention to them so im learning it all now. Thank you
  6. newchik715

    newchik715 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 31, 2009
    all six of mine molted in the fall when they were all only nine months old. Mine eventually stopped laying completley for four months. every chicken is different.
  7. PetRock

    PetRock Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 28, 2010
    SF Bay Area, CA
    One of our seven chickens (a barred rock) molted at 9 months, too. She started molting at the beginning of December and stopped laying at the same time. Her feathers were all grown back in by the beginning of Feb but she just laid her first egg today. It was a tiny, cute, cream colored egg when she normally lays a medium size light brown egg. We are just glad that her equipment is working again and are looking forward to some larger eggs! [​IMG]
  8. GreenGables

    GreenGables Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2011
    My RIR will be 2 years old in May and she started to molt in December. She still isn't laying any eggs but hopefully soon. My Australorp just started to molt and she will also be 2 years old in May. She seems to be losing feathers at a faster rate than the RIR. I'm hoping this means she will molt a little faster.

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