New Feathers

The hens that began molting a few weeks ago are now showing off their lustrous new plumage. Remember what Pearl looked like at the beginning of September?

Pearl molting


Here she is a month later. Chickens lose their feathers in patches. The back is the first to go bare, and the first to grow back in. But, Pearl is not done yet. Her sides have yet to lose all of the old feathers. The molt takes a couple of months from start to finish.

cochin back


Pearl is a cochin, which means that she has many more soft feathers than other birds. She was bare around her vent for awhile, but is now looking as fluffy as a well-dressed Victorian lady.

cochin rear


Alas, the same cannot be said of Jasper.

Jasper tail


To learn more about feathers, take a look at the CornellLab website. I especially like this graphic (click on the yellow question mark on page 4) of a feather pushing through the skin and unfurling. Amazing!


  1. Looking good.
    Oh how I wish they would all molt at once so I could clean out the coop just once. (sigh)

    • Amen Ken! I am trying to scoop up the REALLY bad piles but now all the piles look BAD!!!

  2. Ah, pictures of chicken butts in the morning…nothing could be finer. :-). Mine are starting to molt too and I am looking forward to seeing their new plumage.

  3. Don’t know if this is anything or not, but gonna tell you just in case. When I got on Hencam, I could see Pip’s head sticking out of the stall door way up high. From the Hencam his head was level with the sill of that first window. Wondering what he was possibly standing on I clicked on the goatcam and got nothing. Not even a hoof. ??? Caper was lying down at that point. When I went back to Hencam, Pip was still there and then Caper stuck his head out of the door from under Pip and he was only half way between the ground and Pip. Is there something there for him to stand on above camera range?

  4. I haven’t seen any molting on my ‘reds. Do chickens molt in their first fall? These were hatched/purchased in March of this year.