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Pullets molting before they lay the first egg?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rlmiddlebrooks, Sep 17, 2015.

  1. rlmiddlebrooks

    rlmiddlebrooks Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 4 EE pullets that are molting and have never laid an egg. I'm not sure if this is normal. How long will it last? I have noticed a few feathers here and there but in the last few days it looks like a pillow fight may have happened in the run. Is this normal? How long will it last? The pullets are 9 months old.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Pillow fight look sounds like molt to me. Molt can happen at any age and any time of year. There are various molts as birds grow but a bit unusual for EEs to molt their first autumn. Any type of stress can sometimes stimulate molt.
    What makes up their entire diet, where are you located and what is lighting like in their coop/hours outdoors.
     
  3. rlmiddlebrooks

    rlmiddlebrooks Out Of The Brooder

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    Coop for EE pullets is 4x8 and run is 12x9. Layer feed 16% grit and oyster shell all free choice. The stress is that I just moved them here about three weeks ago. I've just never heard of pullets molting this young. I guess anything is possible. One of them has been sick but she is separated and doing good.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    The breed I raise will molt their first autumn if they hatch early enough in the year.

    My best advice is to lose the layer feed until you start getting eggs. Molting birds can benefit from a higher protein feed. Higher protein may stimulate ovulation. A bird not building egg shells shouldn't be getting 4% calcium in their daily diet.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    I had a 9 month old pullet stop laying and molt last fall, took her 2-3 months to get back to business.
     
  6. eleaserek

    eleaserek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All my girls went through a "mini-molt" shortly before they started laying. I've been told that it's a normal juvenile molt. I have 6 pullets, and it certainly looked like they were having pillow fights! They never lost enough feathers to be visibly noticeable, except for when their tail feathers fell out [​IMG] thankfully that didn't last long!
     
  7. Chickynik

    Chickynik Out Of The Brooder

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    My lavender orps are doing the same. No eggs yet, pillow fight feathers, husband calling them freeloaders...After reading this thread, I made them a nice protein packed treat, because I can never do just a little.:p Here is an Armanian cucumber, sliced lengthwise. On top is a spread made of scrambled egg, tuna and peanut butter. After some strange looks, it was a big hit![VIDEO][​IMG]
    [/VIDEO] In the corner of the picture, is our calico kitty, Steeler, taste testing for her bird friends.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2015
  8. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    I've had plenty of 9 month old pullets molt. They generally don't go through a hard molt, but it's enough to keep them from laying.
     
  9. rlmiddlebrooks

    rlmiddlebrooks Out Of The Brooder

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    This is a hard molt. One of my girls is almost bald. They are acting ok but feathers everywhere every day. I was so surprised that they would molt like this before laying any eggs. I guess I was wrong!!
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    9 months and no eggs? Bummer.
     

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