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I am new to chickens and I heard a lot of stuff about molting but I don't know what it is can u please help me figure it out
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
And when they shed their feathers do they go completely bald or they just shed and grow back over a long time
 

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Takes a long while for the molt to finish. The pin feathers (on Sophie's belly in pic) are really painful to them. When all is done though, boy are they soft!!!
 

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Oh my, I knew they molt but I didn't know they would look like that. I assumed it was like parrots. They molt one feather at a time so they don't look bald. So at what age is their first molt?
 

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It should be like parrots. I'm thinking that much molt is indicative of something else. Broody, mites etc. it's not natural for them to be naked.
 

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Sophie has no mites. She just molted from her belly all the way around to her butt. Her feathers took awhile to grow in. It was her first molt and fortunately her more recent molt hasn't left her so "naked." She has never been broody either. If anything, she used to act more like a roo trying to mount the other girls.
 

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A Round American Woman
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Every chicken molts a little differently. I have had ones that lose one feather at a time, and you really can't tell they are molting. Then I have had the molt here and there, where they will lose all the feathers in one section, grow them it, and then lose them in another section. They look funny walking around with no tail feathers, or just one tail feather.

However I have had the intense full molt as well. I had three Wyandottes and they all molted the same way at the same time. I was like they planned it that way. I closed the coop one night with three normal looking hens and then when I opened the coop the next morning the whole coop was full of feathers and the three of them came out 80% naked. They looked like pre-plucked chicken dinners walking through the yard!!! In the end they did grow the feathers back rather quickly, but boy they looked weird. I always wished that I had my camera at that time, but I had lost the battery charger and when I found it the feathers had grown back.
 

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They do make for quite the sight don't they Roslyn! :D Called Sophie my Naked Baby for awhile. When I had to clean the coop that winter, I'd wrap her in an old baby blanket and carry her into the house. Set her in a warm bin of wood chips and she was one happy girl. She learned to be a lot more friendly towards me after that! Funny how they molt all of the sudden it seems. My two RIR's did the molt at the same time twice now. Walk into their coop in the a.m. and it looked like someone had a plucking party! :eek: They never got bald like Sophie but boy, did the have the pile of feathers on the floor! Every time I picked one of them up, a bunch more feathers would fall to the floor.
 

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NC Chicken Mama
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I've been calling my Black Cochin "Naked Butt"...she's lost all of the feathers on her tail. It's just a bald nub. Sure wish her "rear" would come back. :)
 

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To answer your question about when they molt. They won't molt the first year of life because the feathers are still new. After the first year they will molt once a year. It can be as little as a few feathers at a time or it can be a very dramatic molt of patches of feathers at a time leaving them almost naked looking! It depends on the bird. Molting is very natural and nothing to worry about however it can be quite shocking to look at if it's a dramatic molt. Hope this answered your question and was helpful! Best wishes :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
realsis said:
To answer your question about when they molt. They won't molt the first year of life because the feathers are still new. After the first year they will molt once a year. It can be as little as a few feathers at a time or it can be a very dramatic molt of patches of feathers at a time leaving them almost naked looking! It depends on the bird. Molting is very natural and nothing to worry about however it can be quite shocking to look at if it's a dramatic molt. Hope this answered your question and was helpful! Best wishes :)
Thanks! That helped a lot!
 

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Along with Olivia, I was wondering a lot about molting. Mine haven't molted yet, and I was wondering if all chickens molt, and if so is there anything I need to do? Any replied are helpful!
 
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