Skipped their annual molt

MixedFlock23

Songster
Aug 27, 2020
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Southern Illinois
I have two Black Sex Link hens that I got from TSC in August 2019. They started losing feathers in the fall of 2020 like the rest of my flock (& like the two Salmon Favorelles who were bought same day, same place), but then they stopped molting and still haven’t molted! They feel dirty like unwashed hair (sorry, gross). They each lay nearly daily and have been since they were pullets.

Is it common for birds bred to be high production to skip molting (I guess to keep laying)?

I’ll attach some photos. You can best see the old feathers (the matte ones that look dirty) on the photo I took from above. Tiana has been bald since August/September on her head and belly. Moana is half bald on her head and her bum is red from lack of feathers/sunlight.

Is there something I should be doing for them? (The other 19 chickens molt normally & look and feel great. All birds are fed All Flock or Flock Raiser and have grit & oyster shells & get scratch and treats occasionally.)
 

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MixedFlock23

Songster
Aug 27, 2020
222
311
146
Southern Illinois
Ha! Wow is right. I hope they molt completely soon. They are 20 months old. I read about an 18 month old molt. Maybe that’s more for spring hatched chickens. 🤷🏻‍♀️


Does anyone have any experience with this? I can’t find anything online about it.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Nov 27, 2012
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Ha! Wow is right. I hope they molt completely soon. They are 20 months old. I read about an 18 month old molt. Maybe that’s more for spring hatched chickens. 🤷🏻‍♀️


Does anyone have any experience with this? I can’t find anything online about it.
It's more about the day length changing than an exact age.
Chickens molt and grow a new set of feathers 2-3 times before around 6 months of age, those are called the juvenile molts.
Some pullets will have a partial molt their first fall/winter.
Most birds will have their first full adult molt their second fall/winter.
 

MixedFlock23

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Aug 27, 2020
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Southern Illinois
Update: the girls are molting! Tiana (the balder one of the two; top photos) completely molted and looks so beautiful!! She’s been bald so long (a year!!) that I forgot what she should look like!!
Moana still has a few bald spots... hopefully I’ll see pin feathers there soon!

Here are photos from two weeks ago. I’ll try to get one of them tomorrow too.
 

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Aug 19, 2020
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Update: the girls are molting! Tiana (the balder one of the two; top photos) completely molted and looks so beautiful!! She’s been bald so long (a year!!) that I forgot what she should look like!!
Moana still has a few bald spots... hopefully I’ll see pin feathers there soon!

Here are photos from two weeks ago. I’ll try to get one of them tomorrow too.
I have a Leghorn X who lays nearly every day. She is now 1 year and 3 months and has never moulted in her adulthood. This may be because of the breed, as birds bred to the highest production possible will moult less, if not ever. It would be good if you'd like more eggs, but their lives will be shorter without moulting regularly as this is normally a break where no eggs will be laid.
 

MixedFlock23

Songster
Aug 27, 2020
222
311
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Southern Illinois
Today’s photos:
Moana still needs some work (grubby looking feathers & bald head), but Tiana has transformed!! 😍
 

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Mrs. K

Free Ranging
12 Years
Nov 12, 2009
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Some birds molt hard. Once I had a leghorn that molted seemingly like overnight, it looked like something had been killed in the coop, white feathers every where - she was nearly naked - feathers grew back record time.

This year, I have some old white bird...the only white bird, and every day there are more white feathers - but she does not seem to have any bald spots, She HAS to have some gone somewhere - but slowly new feathers are showing up. It has been going on for weeks.

They all molt differently, I am just glad when they are done.

Mrs K
 

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