My Tiny Brood of Backyard Chooks

chooks, hens or chickens?

My Barnevelder chickens have started moulting and their egg production has reduced


It is a few days from the first day of autumn here in the southern hemisphere. About two weeks ago I started noticing feathers littering the yard and then I noticed my Barnevelder girl’s egg production started to go down.

So I am guessing my Barnevelders are going through their first moult. I checked online and yes, I see that late summer, early autumn is a common time for chickens to start moulting. I hope mine don’t go through an almost naked moult like some poor chickens do. Because my girls are not yet twelve months old (they will be one year old in April), I am guessing their moult will be less severe but I am not sure if that is right.

Hannah Hen went through a moult after hatching her chicks so she may not go through another one.


21 thoughts on “My Barnevelder chickens have started moulting and their egg production has reduced

  1. Oh oh, I hope mine don’t start, but I’m sure they will. Mine were born I think in December so they’re just over a year old. I’m sure all 3 will moult. 2 had a mini-moult in summer that put them off their lay for about a week. If there full moult is the same, I’ll be laughing.

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed for your girls that it’s a quick and mild moult.

  2. My 3 Barnies had their first moult at the beginning of March 2012, when they were about 9 months old. It wasn’t a full moult, i.e. they only seemed to lose the fluffy under feathers and not many of the major ones (they weren’t naked by any means). I didn’t get any eggs again until the middle of July.

    One of them started moulting for her second time just before last Christmas and the second one about a month later. The third one is still laying one egg every second day. I’m expecting her to start moulting soon, as it’s 12 months since the last. I thought the other two may have moulted early because of the very hot summer we’d been having, but don’t really know. They are a law unto themselves. In the second moult they lost more feathers than in the first; one had a bare chest and the other a bare bum, but seeing as it was so hot, I think it was very sensible of them! They both seem to have a full coat again now, so I don’t know when the eggs will start coming again.

    Enjoying reading about your experiences. Not many people seem to have Barnevelders.

    • I just popped over to your blog and saw your moulting picture. Very cute. With a bit of luck that is all I will have too. Yes, I love the Barnevelder girls. I came upon the breed by chance. The only breeder that had POL chooks last winter was a lady down the road who had a few different breeds but I fell in love with these ones.

  3. Love the picture of the two chooks on the planter.
    Mine haven’t moulted yet so I can’t add to the conversation.
    But, with less feathers I shouldn’t have to do butt washes for a while. That would be nice.

  4. That new photo is as cute as a button… And… We live far too far away from each other… XO

  5. I enjoy your adventures of chicken keeping ‘down under’, and also LOVE the new photo!!!

  6. Nice photo. And it has made me realize that a chicken given to me last fall by a neighbor which she claimed was Ameraucana is most likely part Barnevelder (some people call them Lakenvelders here, but do’t know how right they are). There’s not much care taken at her place as far as keeping antique breeds pure so this particular hen has Barnevelder feather colors and patterns and an Amercauna tuft of feathers on her face and ears. I figured she was some other breed in part because her eggs are pinkish but with no blue on the inside, a trait of Americaunas.

    I also have read that molting happens in the fall but a couple of my hens seem to be starting a molt now and we are entering spring here.

    • That’s quite a tough one isn’t it when people have different heritage breeds running around with all types of promiscious roosters. It is a shame but I guess it is ok as long as they sell them (or give them away) as what they really are – mixed breeds.
      I would love to have a heritage breed poultry farm where they are all kept with the right breeds and each type has lots of running around space. I guess we can all dream. 🙂

      • “if” is the key word. This one was passed off as Americauna but it isn’t. Even the eggs are the wrong color inside and out (should be blue on the inside). There are some others given to me that are of questionable lineage too. At least they are all hens.

        I’m hoping to raise just Americaunas (they really do well in this climate) as pure stock and keep a few other pure breeds that are good egg layers with them. But my goal this year is to get sales going at farm markets. Next year I will be more serious about raising true breeds.

      • That sounds amazing. Good luck finding your pure breeds to breed from and have fun 🙂

  7. Not looking forward to the molting either. I hear that happens the second year. 😦

  8. Love birds of any kind. I’ve been trying to talk Mr. Iknead into getting a few chickens lately but so far, no go. I’m going to keep working though. Thanks for the read, the comment and the follow!

  9. Pingback: I have forgiven Helen Hen | My Tiny Brood of Backyard Chooks

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