Questions about molting. when and what triggers it to start?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by treeman52, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. treeman52

    treeman52 In the Brooder

    Dec 8, 2010
    Shreveport, La.
    I have not got the first bird yet, but I have questions about molting. When do they molt? What makes it start? Do they start at a certain age? Do they all start at the same time? If I get all my chicks at the same time will I have a period when they are all molting? Should I buy chicks at different times? Do they stop laying completely? How long does it last? Would like answers to some of these before I get started, Thanks for all the help.
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Quote:Chickens are very individualistic when it comes to molting. Generally adult chickens molt in the fall or winter. I think it's cooler darker weather that triggers it. Younger chickens less than 18 months will generally have mini molts. I don't think it matters when you buy chicks, they will sync up to the seasons. Some chickens will continue to lay through molt or just slow down. Last for 2 weeks to 2-3 months.

    That being said. I never had a chicken go through a major molt for 6 years. This year I finally had one get really ratty looking. Have never had mine quit laying, but this year really slowed down. Maybe because I have geriatric hens.

    Hope this helps

  3. This is my second year with chickens. Last year all my birds went through a hard molt at the same time. I have added a few, but this year they are kind of going through it a few at a time. Although I noticed today that about 1/2 of my flock could be considered in some stage of molt. My young birds from this year are all not molting.....yet.

    Do pullets generally molt their first year?
    This thead interests me....
  4. Country Parson

    Country Parson Songster

    Oct 1, 2010
    Bellefontaine, OH
    In the last three years I've only had one chicken go through a full molt. The poor thing look pathetic. All the other birds seemed to have relatively mild molts.

    Last summer we did get a gaggle of 9 Pilgrim geese & 6 Embden geese that we free ranged. In mid-Summer they molted (or something like it) and we had snow-white feathers covering our 2 acre yard. It looked like the site of some kind of poultry massacre. One of our neighbors asked if some dogs had gotten into our geese (by the way, I've since discovered feathers are a pain to rake up).

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