What is the reason they molt now?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sadies0111, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. sadies0111

    sadies0111 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 18, 2010
    I have 4 hens around 1 year old, and they are molting for the first time. I live in Wisconsin...what is the reason they would be molting in November, when we've already had snow, and it gets below freezing at night? The don't seem to mind the weather, but I'm just curious as to why they molt when it is pretty cold out?
     
  2. buckabucka

    buckabucka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    I think the molt is triggered by decreasing day length, but I understand what you are saying. I have a few bald chickens that are spending quite a bit of time huddling in the coop on these cold mornings.
     
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Molting is a hormone related thing, sometimes it is jump started by the hot weather of mid to late summer, but most mature birds do it at least once a year. Guess it just depends on when those hormone spikes take place for your birds. I have some who molt in Aug, some in Sept and some are still molting some in Nov/Dec.
     
  4. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    Yeah, we were wondering the same thing. You'd think it would make sense to molt in spring, to shed whatever extra layers were added for colder weather. Seems like most of my first year layers are molting just now, after we've had a bunch of freezes. Seems kind of backwards.
     
  5. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can't find it now, but someone offered a great background with regard to why birds would molt when it starts getting cold. I wish I could remember it all, but it has something to do with all the energy that goes into mating, egg laying and raising chicks during spring and summer and fall is the only time when they can just put their energy toward growing new feathers before winter. Sort of a process of elimination.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Yay Chicks! :

    I can't find it now, but someone offered a great background with regard to why birds would molt when it starts getting cold. I wish I could remember it all, but it has something to do with all the energy that goes into mating, egg laying and raising chicks during spring and summer and fall is the only time when they can just put their energy toward growing new feathers before winter. Sort of a process of elimination.

    This I think is thread you mention.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=578359
     

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