What age do chickens go through their first molt?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by taprock, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. taprock

    taprock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 1, 2010
    Northern L.P. Michigan
    I have mainly Polish and EE chickens. They are now almost a year old. When do they normally molt for the first time? I'm guessing I won't be able to miss it. Some of the hens are developing bare backs and now have aprons to wear, but it is only on their backs so I'm assuming it is the roos causing the feather loss. How often do they molt?
  2. Country Heart

    Country Heart City Girl With A

    I have not been through too many molt cycles yet with my girls, but my understanding is that the first year they will not molt. After that, I think it is suppose to be yearly, usually in the Fall.

    It certainly is something to see. If they go through a hard molt they can end up looking like a shadow of themselves - but eventually their feathers come back in even more beautiful than before. [​IMG]
  3. Amyh

    Amyh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2010
    North Carolina
    Some of my girls are doing a mini molt right now. They are about a year old.
  4. Hoosierchickens

    Hoosierchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 9, 2011
    Cloverdale, IN

    I'm curious about this too. I've read that they go through a juvenile molt. My birds are 4 months old and a lot of them have dropped a lot of their tail feathers but other than that and seeing what seems like a lot of loose feathers laying around they don't appear to really be molting like what I expected. I expected to see bald spots or something. Is what I'm expecting what's called a hard molt? Does it sound like my chickens are going through a "soft" molt (is that what it's called.) Like the OP I'm curious what age they typically go through their first molt?
  5. Amyh

    Amyh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2010
    North Carolina
    Like I said earlier, my hens are going through a mini molt. Not all of them, but the EE, Wyandotte for sure and possibly one of the Australorps. I just see a lot of down on the very bottom of their backs instead of full feathers. When I touch there, I feel some new feathers coming in underneath. No rooster, so it's not from mating.

    My girls have not been through a hard molt, so I can't give any info about that.
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    There are different degrees of molting. During their first 6 months they will molt several times starting with loosing their downy feathers and getting the adult feathers. (Wing feathers come in first.) Some will molt more noticeable than others. After their first year then usually once a year. Sometimes they quit laying and sometimes you may get an egg now and then when they are in a mini molt. When they go through a hard molt they can look like they have been plucked.

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