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My Chickens Haven't Molted

I was expecting my chickens to molt by about December if not sooner. But they have not yet. Most of them are not more than 1 and half years old. Maybe they don't often molt in their first year I don't know. I was planning to put some light on my laying hens, who's eggs I sell to the shop, soon. But I am not sure if I should before they have molted. Can anyone advise me on this?

craigmartin
Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

Do you mean adding artificial light?

After a year, molts become much less frequent.

Sulky Bantam
Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

The molt takes place from mid July to early November well thats what I've always seen or occasionaly a bad fright can cause a molt.

paddycrawford
Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

Agree with paddy.
All birds moult annually, they also moult after hatching chicks while rearing the brood.
So if they have reared 2 broods, 2 moults...

Desy
Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

I am talking about artificial lighting which I would turn on in the morning before they get much sunlight. I was thinking that most chickens have a yearly molt. This spring about the end of April or May I got some laying hens. Some of them were probably already about 4 months old. Some were week old chicks. Anyways I read that chickens molt from about September to November. But they haven't. Somewhere I found out that battery chickens are forced to molt by taking away most of their light and food for awhile. Maybe I should take most of their food away.

craigmartin
Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

I was expecting a big molt. Like the chickens lose pretty much all their feathers. But maybe they don't always have such a big one molt.

craigmartin
Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

The ones that were baby chicks in April or May won't moult until next year. Not sure about older ones.
They will need all their food in this cold weather so don't withdraw that. Are there many of them laying?

Joseph lawler
Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

I feel like they are laying very well. The ones that were chicks and the older ones are all together. There are 24 of them and there are 3 other ones with them that not likely much if any yet. From these hens I have been getting an average of about 19-21 eggs a day recently. And up until maybe 2-3 weeks ago or so the production seem to be getting better and better.

craigmartin
Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

That sounds great to have all those eggs at this time of year. Probably this real cold spell has set them back just a little bit. Don't think you will need to worry about a moult until next autumn. Keep them well fed. Personally we never use extra light and yours seem to be doing very well without it.

Joseph lawler
Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

Thanks

craigmartin
Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

Chickens molt almost every year to 16 months, it's not always during autumn/winter but most likely during this time. Some molt very obviously, some birds do not, only losing a few feathers every now and again over a long time that makes it barely noticeable especially if they are out free ranging

Adrian Kelly
Wednesday, January 6th, 2021


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