So....I thought she was too young to molt...?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BigDaddy'sGurl, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. BigDaddy'sGurl

    BigDaddy'sGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Wilkesboro NC
    I have a dominique pullet who has me nearly pulling my hair out. I originally raised 3, they were born on January 27 and didn't start laying at all until around the beginning of August! I was frustrated, to say the least. So, after some very poor performance (couldn't seem to get the laying thing down and I was lucky to get one egg a day from 3 pullets) I really needed the money and so I sold 2 of the pullets for a good price to someone more patient the third week of August. I just couldn't afford to keep feeding girls who just wouldn't get into a rhythmn. So, after I sold those two, it took a week for the final girl "Tuesday" to lay. Then, she would lay daily for 3 days then skip one, then daily for 3, etc.... All was well until about 10 days ago. She layed one day, and now....nothing. She hasn't lost any feathers, she isn't sick, nothing has changed about her food, nest box, pecking order, no moves, nothing! Another hen in the coop isn't laying either but she is over a year old so I figure SHE is molting, although I haven't seen a single loose feather from anyone in that coop. So tell me, why would a 9 month old hen quit laying with no signs of molting? Is she even of an age where she should molt?? I have a bantam cochin hen in another coop that is obviously molting: no bald spots, but it looks like she got into a pillow fight in the coop....white feathers EVERYWHERE!!!

    Why do I always seem to raise the slacker chickens?? [​IMG]
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    She could be going thru what I call a mini-molt. Happens in the 8 to 9 month old age range. It could be slight molt, without noticable feather loss.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  3. BigDaddy'sGurl

    BigDaddy'sGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Wilkesboro NC
    Thanks for the reply! If that is the case, I know you can't specifically tell me how long it will take, but are we talking a couple weeks of molt or a month typically for a mini-molt? And this being only my second year with chickens, I seem to have forgotten, how long does the full blown adult molt usually take? Thanks again!! [​IMG]
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    113
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    BigDaddy'sGurl :

    Thanks for the reply! If that is the case, I know you can't specifically tell me how long it will take, but are we talking a couple weeks of molt or a month typically for a mini-molt? And this being only my second year with chickens, I seem to have forgotten, how long does the full blown adult molt usually take? Thanks again!! [​IMG]

    It's really hard to predict how long a molt will take, although I've noticed that the mini-molts generally take less time than the full blown adult molts. My 3 year old hens are molting right now. One of them finished in record time - less than two weeks - and is now back to laying. The others are taking their sweet time; it's been almost a month.​
     

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