I don’t know what it is, but I find it very fascinating to watch our poultry molt when new feathers emerge from pointy white sheaths.

Now that it’s officially molting season the egg production has slowed while they put their energy into growing a new set of duds.  Speaking of new duds,  feathers are everywhere – in the enclosure in the coop in the nesting boxes – everywhere!   Of course the chickens and duckies rather not be photographed in such a disheveled state (though I have snatched photos before).  Can’t say as I blame them since right now, they are looking somewhat pathetically hilariously- but don’t tell them I said that!

Here’s some interesting reads


  1. Diggity Dog says:

    I think we’re all fascinated by any animal that seasonally sheds it’s clothes or exoskeletons. I’m glad that you mentioned that this happens during the low egg production time. I was considering getting a few hens and running lights on timers to fool them into thinking it’s summer all year long to keep production up. But if this is the time when they molt, it doesn’t seem very fair to deny them a new set of duds each year.

    Not to mention, it more closely aligns with eating seasonally. Something that I’m interested in doing, but is so abstract that I have a hard time knowing where to start.

    On a side note, are yo planning on doing the 100′ diet again this year? I’d love to do it and post on my blog to track my efforts.

  2. CE says:

    For people in more northern latitudes, lights on timers are a must from late fall to early spring. The chickens will still shed/molt. They will still have decreased egg production. When these times come I stop the higher protein (soy and all organic mix) feed and just offer garden veg, weeds and grains. They find some bugs which is protein but not enough to stimulate egg production during molting. I figure this is a good time for their systems to rest. Following mother nature I change their feed to also let them produce less eggs but I keep the lights on so they will not stop for the winter. They will resume egg production after the molt but at a slower pace till spring.

  3. Ben Guygoesgreen says:

    I am curious… are chickens difficult to keep? I have thought it would be awesome to be able to produce your own eggs, but currently do not have the land. Someday…

  4. Diggity Dog says:


    Okay, if it’s not going to mess with other functions then I’m not opposed to doing it! Thanks for the explanation of the change in food!


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