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When do chickens molt?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dmangum, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. dmangum

    dmangum Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 17, 2015
  2. GhostRider65

    GhostRider65 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think 2 times per year, but I'm new to chickens as well, just got mine last March they are almosta year old and have had mini molts but no nakid chickens so far. I will be watching for a good answer as well.....Kim
     
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Once a year, generally in the fall/winter. If a bird is super stressed, it can cause a molt at any time of year.

    It can be barely noticeable, where you see that they look raggedy and miss some tail feathers OR it can look like this:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
    2 people like this.
  4. Desert doll

    Desert doll New Egg

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    Jun 29, 2012
    I wonder why they molt in winter when it seems they need their feathers to keep warm.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Choco Maran

    Choco Maran Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens molt twice a year and have one major molt and one light during the year. They are like all other animals in that they need to shed their old feather inorder to grow new ones. The feather they have in the summer are a lighter build so they need to grow a thicker feather so to speak of for the winter in order to keep warm. I have had major molts from my hens any time during the year. Mostly in the late spring or summer months. I think it depends on the breed or if they are stressed for any reason. Being stressed can be from a lot of different reasons from mites to being crowded. As feather recurre more protein to grow back I tend to feed a 22% protein and add a calf manna supplement and some D.Earth to help out, other people say to add a little cat food to their feed.
     
  6. CSgirl

    CSgirl New Egg

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    We added 2 White Austra's to our coop (8 months old). One of the Austra's was picked on pretty bad by it's tail/back. That has stopped, but over the last few weeks it has finally rid itself of all of it's tail feathers and seems to be losing neck feathers too. It's partner does not have any of the same feather problems.

    I can't figure out if we have a sick chicken, if it's molting, or still being pecked at.
     
  7. CSgirl

    CSgirl New Egg

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    May 23, 2012
    Can you tell the difference between being pecked by other hens and molting? Does molting typically start around their neck?
     
  8. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, molting usually starts at the head. Some of my birds you will only notice that they look like they are missing their tail. Others blow off lots of feathers like my buttercup above.
     
  9. CSgirl

    CSgirl New Egg

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    I was so glad you posted that pic because I have the same breed and and I would've freaked out if I hadn't seen your picture-thanks for sharing!
     
  10. BLT79

    BLT79 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    phew, I was afraid my rooster was starting to get sick. his feathers under his hackles were gapping. was thinking sick or mites. I also noticed one of his earlobes so to be white or pale pink where as other one is more red. what does this mean? is that frostbite? sorry new to chickens this year! haha!
     

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