Question about Molting & Post Your Molting Pics Please

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ERnoleGuy, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. ERnoleGuy

    ERnoleGuy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2009
    Saint Petersburg, FL
    So, I recently got two older pullets (Barred Rocks) that I believe were from a January 09 hatch and started laying in June sometime. They were moved to their new home with me last Wednesday (9/2) and according to their previous owner, were great layers and hardly ever miss a day. Now I am fine with being patient and not getting any eggs from them right away (the little bantam I got at the same time laid her first one today after she finally got settled in). Patience is a virtue, and I am completely ok with that.

    But my question is, being a chicken newbie, what does a molt really look like??? It seems like they are dropping a lot of feathers. Mostly small ones, but I have managed to get a few big ones too. (I saved them, the barred rock feathers are so pretty) The hens don't look scraggly or anything, but I am wondering if their moving to a new home, mixed with their age, might mean they are molting. What do you think? I'd show you some pics of them, but there is nothing to see really. They look totally normal.

    I would love it if you have any pics of a chicken molting with maybe some indication of time span (as in, "2 weeks into a molt") or something. Or if you have a picture of how many feathers I should expect on the ground. Please post your pics. [​IMG] If they are molting, how long until they start to lay again? I live in FL, so I am not too concerned about the upcoming "winter" as you northern folks call it. LOL.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
  2. ERnoleGuy

    ERnoleGuy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, so I've got over 160 posts and never, ever, not even once have I bumped my own post. Until Now. LOL. Anyone?
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Northwest Arkansas
  4. ERnoleGuy

    ERnoleGuy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That is a good site. Thank you. I have not found any primary flight feathers on the ground yet. I will definitely look at them closely tomorrow though. Most of what I am finding are short (2" - 3") and very fluffy like. I see them shake and then a feather or two will fall from their butt. If it wasn't dark already I'd be out there now.

    Is looking for the missing primary feathers/new growth of the primary feathers the best way to definitively say they are molting?

    I purposely bought laying hens so that I'd have eggs while I am waiting on my little ones to grow up. This would be just my luck that they have decided to molt.

    Would still love to see anyone's personal pics of this happening. [​IMG]
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    When every area of your property that the chickens are allowed to enter starts looking as if someone dropped a cargo hold full of feather pillows from 10,000 ft. in the air on it, chances are your hens are molting.
    We found three feathers in my jeep the other day. Still trying to figure that one out.
    I don't have any pics of the current molt my chickens are enduring, but I do have a few of Maggie (the hen formerly known as Tabby) during a very mild or mini-molt, taken a few months back:


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    All of my chickens look 10 times worse than that now. They are the right age (17 months) and it's the right time of year for it.
     
  6. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I'll have to get a picture tomorrow of a couple of my BLRW & Blue wyandotte hens......they are very pathetic looking.
     
  7. ERnoleGuy

    ERnoleGuy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Saint Petersburg, FL
    At what age did yours go through their first molt? Mine are my Barred Rock Pullets that I am wondering about. (in case anybody else has any experience with molts in any of the Plymouth Rock family)
     
  8. Jolyn

    Jolyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2008
    Northern California
    I've posted wanting molting pictures too but no one ever responds. Guess people don't take pics when the birds are looking haggard. Haha!!!

    Mine look pretty bad but i am not finding feathers. Could they be eating them? It's very strange. They are about 18 months old.
     
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:A few of mine, Maggie included, went thru a mini-molt in the 7 to 9 month range. There was no decrease in egg production at that time. Two of those that didn't are now molting yet still laying. The rest are molting and have quit laying.
     
  10. motherbear

    motherbear Out Of The Brooder

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    We're going through our first bout of real molting. The girls are about 15 months old. I'd guess this girl is about 3 weeks in.

    [​IMG]

    You can see why no one takes pictures of them during this pathetic stage [​IMG]

    Here she is with one of her hatchmates who is not molting - both are NHR.

    [​IMG]

    The yard looks like there's been a most epic pillow fight and I won't even mention the state of the coop. Of our six layers, one has gone broody AGAIN and 3 are in various stages of molt, so we are down to 1-2 eggs a day. My co-workers are totally in withdrawals. The babies - who are now 5 months old are just starting to lay. I'd forgotten how little those first eggs are [​IMG]

    Hope this helps
     

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