Chicken molting? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

My question is this, how long does it take for the feathers to grow back? Our hens are just starting to molt,I think this may be a problem because it's already getting cold here in Montana. Most of the hens have pin feather just starting. Will they feather out faster if it gets colder? I feel sorry for some as they are buck naked on their backsides and underneath. If it gets much colder in the evenings we'll run a heat lamp. Thanks for your help in advance.

-- Kelle in MT (, October 17, 2001


You should get lots of answers with this. I am letting my older hens molt right now, they will be 4. I will turn thier coop light on at the end of the month, and though the books will tell you a molting hen won't lay again till spring, with the lights mine will start laying in a couple of weeks. It's the daylight length that makes "my" hens molt, though I think it can also be brought on by stress. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh (, October 18, 2001.

When I lived up North, my husband allowed for a nice heat lamp in the coop. Our chixs laid almost everyday and can't remember moltint. They also outlived most hens, came them away and one is still alive and she must be 6 years old and still laying. Now here in the South, my husband hasn't put any lights or heat into the coop and they molt horribly. They look like they were under attack and have now stop laying and probably will not for most of winter. I am going to go ahead and run a line to the coop and put in a light. I want eggs!!!! Not to mention they look like refugee chixs.

-- Debbie (, October 18, 2001.

I have never understood why some folk's birds get close to naked during the molt. I would never know my birds were molting if the area didn't look like a pillow fight took place ~ and the pillows lost! -LOL- My birds stay heavily feathered during this time. With my house birds, it's the same. The chooks evidently just finished a molt 'cause I swept up a heck of a lot of feathers. I do not have any added heat or light out there.

-- ~Rogo (, October 18, 2001.

Debbie, I'm in south central Texas. I have no added heat/light out there. My hens lay and hatch eggs all year around. And as you saw in my post, the birds stay heavily feathered during the molt. I always thought this was natural for healthy birds.

-- ~Rogo (, October 18, 2001.

Thankyou for all your ideas as to why our hen's are molting so late. I will start running a light, I do usually when it gets colder. I'm looking at this in a more positive light, you see some are getting culled and those will be easier to pluck, well, they are half bald now. LOL!

-- Kelle in MT (, October 19, 2001.

I live in Kansas, and now that the days are getting shorter, I leave a single 60-watt light bulb turned on in the henhouse most nights. They come in from ranging earlier, and the hens seem to settle down easier with it on. We have had a lot of downed feathers around here, too, but nobody amongst the flock looks naked, except for a rooster who has a decidedly non-fluffy-looking neck at the moment. The eggs are just starting to come in from the May 28th hatchlings.

-- CJ Glass (, October 28, 2001.

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