Author Topic: Chicken Molt Question & Answer  (Read 1018 times)

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Offline Herman Beck-Chenoweth

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Chicken Molt Question & Answer
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2013, 08:39:48 AM »
"I have a lovely flock of 21 hens and 3 roosters. 14 are standard
sized and 10 are bantam. My standard sized flock are all good /
very good layers. The bantams are fair layers. Its actually been
pretty cold, its definitely been at least cool since October. Not
ONE has gone through a molt and I am getting a ridiculous amount
of eggs particularly from my standard sized hens. I am getting
between 10-12 eggs every single day.

My mother in law has many of the same breeds as I do and they are
also the same age and most of hers have or are molting and her
production has dropped. She only lives about 5 miles from me. I
am concerned that something is wrong with my girls. I know
molting time is a period of rest from egg production and I am
worried about my girls not getting that needed rest. Should I be
worried?" ~ Mary Lapara, Southern Louisiana

SIDE NOTE: For those of you who are new to keeping chickens,
here's a brief explanation of what a molt is; A molt is the
process of shedding old feathers and replacing them with new
feathers. It is also a time for the hen's reproductive system to
rest as she will either stop laying eggs all together or will lay
less frequently for the duration of the molt.

Feather loss will typically start on the face and head. It will
then progress to the neck, breast and body, followed by the wings
and finally the tail. There can be some variances. A molt is
usually brought on with the shorter days of autumn and winter.
The whole process can take anywhere from 2 to 7 months, depending
on the breed and the individual.)

Hi Mary, thanks for the question.

You have no idea how many people reading right now wish they were
in the same situation.

Most of us are waiting for our girls to return to full production

Don't worry, there's no such thing as too many eggs!

Bantams do typically lay fewer eggs then their standard

Some breeds as a whole lay more eggs than others.

Within a breed you will find individual hens that lay more than
others within the same breed.

Typically, poor layers molt in the fall. Good layers will wait
until closer to winter to start dropping feathers.

Nutrition, sanitation and environment all play a part in the
health of a flock and thereby, their egg production.

You are obviously taking excellent care of your flock.

Please don't be concerned about your girls not getting their
needed rest, they will molt when they're ready.

It is not uncommon for a few hens to stay fully feathered,
especially if it is their first winter.

It is not likely however, that your whole flock will avoid a molt
this year. So if they haven't started yet, they will receive the
rest they need when they do start their molt.

I believe it is best to let the hens come into their molt
naturally although it can be forced. See our next reader's
question for a discussion on that.

I hope this has been a reassurance to you Mary. Enjoy all those

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