Question about moulting.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by nova022, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. nova022

    nova022 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 3, 2012
    Hi, I am new to raising chickens and have my first little flock of 7 week olds. I was wondering how old chickens are when they molt for the first time and if there is anything special you do for them during a molt. Do they just molt once a year? Do they lay eggs while they are molting? Thanks for any info.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  2. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Chicks in their first year go through 2 partial molts - nothing serious. They don't need anything extra.

    If you have chicks born this year, they will have their first adult molt between late summer and early winter next year. You can add in additional protein (consider changing feed to a grower during molt with oyster shell on the side) or you could also give them meal worms, cat food, or anything that has high protein (meat pretty much).

    They usually don't lay while molting, but there are exceptions ;) I have one hen that will lay through any molt. The ones that seem to drop all their feathers at once are usually your best layers.

    Hope this helps!

    Welcome to BYC! :D :frow

    ETA: It's 2 molts, not 3 - corrected :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  3. nova022

    nova022 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the information. I heard someone mention a juvenile molt. Is that the same thing?
     
  4. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    No not really. You don't even notice a Juvenile molt unless you handle them a lot. You notice new feathers coming in, and see the little feathers on the ground. They still look fully feathered to glance at them.

    The first mini molt begins at 6-8 days old and is complete by approximately 4 weeks when the chick's down is replaced by its first feathers.

    The second mini molt occurs between 7-12 weeks old and the chicken's first feathers are replaced by its second feathers. It is at this time that a rooster's distinguishing, ornamental feathers will appear.
     

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