When will they molt?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TheSpiceGirls, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I picked up day old chicks at the end of October last year. So they are coming up on their one year birthday.

    I'm curious if they will molt this year or not?

    I've read that they don't molt their first year. But technically, they could start molting in November and it wouldn't be their first year.

    I'm in CA where it's quite mild if that makes any sort of difference.
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    They say the first adult molt comes around 18 months old, however....

    My 3 year, 4 month old brahma hens are molting right on schedule, nothing strange about that - BUT - my younger hens, just 14 months old, are also molting. Almost like they caught the molting bug from my older hens.
     
  3. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Interesting. I do think they influence each other sometimes. But it sounds like my girls will skip their molt this year as they are too young. Which is fine w/ me.
     
  4. 2hot2chicken

    2hot2chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have some almost 7 month old Barred rock pullet who havnt even started laying and at leased 2 of them are molting. It started slow and I thought it was maybe just them pulling a feather or 2 out of each other but now I am sure. Tons of feathers in the coop and when they are free ranging the yard during the day I am finding a pretty large amount of feathers to...... Its not them picking on each other as they are getting along great and if anything the 3 Barred rocks gang up on the other 3 smaller pullets I have that are a month behind them in age so it would be brown feathers I would find not b/w ones...

    Any ideas? I have been expecting eggs for a while now and got none from them yet as the "molting" has been going on for a few weeks, slow at first but picking up amount of feathers lost.

    How long does a full molt usually seem to take before they start laying again?

    We have been experiencing pretty hot weather for our area for quite some time which is unusual but they are young enough I didn't think that would matter to much to them. I do all I can to keep them cool and they rarely ever even pant because of heat.......
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Assuming you have checked them thoroughly for mites I would try upping their protein. Think of the high protein foods - eggs, yogurt, meat, cheese, etc. and in moderation, dry cat food.
     
  6. 2hot2chicken

    2hot2chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have checked and check them frequently for mites or any injurys/illness, we handle ours daily. Their favorite thing is to come sit on my lap in the evening in the shade and get treats...... Grapes, peas, seeds, peanuts etc.....
    They are currently eating an organic layer feed I will have to check the protein level but I know it was right where it should be/recommend amount was or I wouldn't have switched to it. I also feed them a scratch with lots of healthy snacks (but not every day). They get some fruits but mostly veggies, rolled oats, nuts/seeds, etc... And I really spread them out either in their run or on the ground in my yard so they have to really search for them. They also free range anywhere from a couple hours to all day in my yard with their run left open so they can go in and eat/drink as they want to.

    I need to buy food today anyway so should I maybe buy a grower food with a little higher protein for them and mix it in with the small amount of layer I have left? I have a bowel of oster shells in the coop for calcium to because I didn't see a lot of it in the food and wanted them to be getting enough. Would it hurt them to stay on the little bit higher protein for a while?

    Or my other birds not multing? I don't think it could... I have 1 silkie with chicks right now and another who is about to lay(spending time in the nest box but no egg yet) and 3 that are going to a new home today. Then I will be moving my 5 week old brahma pullets into the coop. Young I know but they are fully feathered and they really want to free range when they see the adults out. The adults come over to checkout the grow out pen all the time and they seem to be doing good and the brahmas aren't affraid of the big chickens so...... We will see.

    Thanks for the help and sorry about the thread Hyjack [​IMG]
     
  7. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have found that my hens do better at a higher protein level than what is often recommended/found in layer feeds (16%) - I feed them an 18-20% feed and it minimizes feather picking. But during a molt, I will also supplement this further with the foods Gristar suggested as molting and regrowing feathers is hard work and the extra protein helps with the process.
     
  8. Longhorns&Chickens

    Longhorns&Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi! I'm new at this chicken thing....my hens are about 5months, will I know when they molt? I didn't know they didn't do that until 18 monthes. Does that affect laying?
     
  9. 2hot2chicken

    2hot2chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Longhorns&Chickens :

    Hi! I'm new at this chicken thing....my hens are about 5months, will I know when they molt? I didn't know they didn't do that until 18 monthes. Does that affect laying?

    You will know. You will start to find feathers, large mature feathers on the ground. I think they are all molting but at first I wasn't finding as many feathers so I wasn't sure. Now I realize they have been eating them! There is a lot more feathers lost than I thought.

    Chickens, at leased from what I heard, do not ay at all during a molt....... [​IMG]
     
  10. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:This^^^^^ Higher protein in their regular feed and high protein treats is about all I know to do to help them with their molt. The flockraiser type feed I use because I am feeding all different ages is 18 or 20% protein, I can't recall which. I do know that it only contains a trace amount of calcium so I make sure I keep the oyster shell dispensers full.
     

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