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What is molting?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by WoodChic, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. WoodChic

    WoodChic The Chic Chick

    Oct 27, 2009
    KKV HQ
    Our chickens stopped laying a few months ago, and haven't picked back up. My brother is getting a bit worried, and I don't know what molting really is. We noticed some of them with practically no feathers, but it just crossed my mind as I am writing this that that could have been molting. (or the dog got to them also) [​IMG] I'm not sure this no-egg-laying is molting though. [​IMG] HELP!!! Info about molting would help. Thanks!

  2. shay20

    shay20 Shay's Flock of Fun

    Jul 31, 2008
    in the wild, Mass
    Molting is when they shed there old feathers and come ito there new ones, now when they go through it couses fevers in them, and they hurt more.
    So yes they have a drop in egg production from molting.
    They also have an egg drop dureing this time of year.
    you can try putting a light in there coop from 6 am to 8 pm that will sometimes help in a pick up of egg prodution.
  3. naturegrrl

    naturegrrl Songster

    Nov 15, 2008
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Basically, molt in birds is an annual physiological process during which they replace most or all of their feathers, as well as some muscle and organ tissue. It's a big deal for birds, so they generally molt *after* they are done laying for the season; or in the case of chickens, they take a break from egg-laying while they molt. It usually happens in the fall, although various environmental conditions can change that.
    I happen to be a "molt nerd" (in wild birds the pattern and extent of molt is an excellent way to determine age), so if you want a more in-depth description of the process, feel free to PM me. [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  4. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Molting is a bird loosing feathers. Also they can go through light molts and heavy molts. They usually stop laying when they start to molt and may not start laying again for several weeks. When my birds molt I usually give them a higher protein feed. I have used Game Bird feed which is 20% protein. I think the added protein helps them. I don't worry about feeding them Layer feed when they are molting as I think they need the extra protein for their new feather growth. Their first year they will go through several light molts as they go from chick fuzz to feathers. I had several birds that were around 2 yrs old when they went through their first heavy molt.
  5. WoodChic

    WoodChic The Chic Chick

    Oct 27, 2009
    KKV HQ
    Quote:My brother set up a light today. Lets see how that works. [​IMG]
  6. WoodChic

    WoodChic The Chic Chick

    Oct 27, 2009
    KKV HQ
    Quote:Thank you CityClucks, that was very helpful!

  7. WoodChic

    WoodChic The Chic Chick

    Oct 27, 2009
    KKV HQ
    Also, does molting cause serious bleeding? The chicken feeder and waterer were covered in blood a few days ago, and my Bro said that some of the hens heads had blood on them.
  8. Uzuri

    Uzuri Songster

    Mar 25, 2009
    No it doesn't -- that sounds more like a fight, or a comb-grabbing rooster, if you have a rooster.
  9. WoodChic

    WoodChic The Chic Chick

    Oct 27, 2009
    KKV HQ
    No roo's.

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