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# Molting blues - Page 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridgerunner

Aart think about your lighting regimen. One of our friends in Pennsylvania provides 14 hours of light yet her older hens generally molt. Her longest day is about 15 hours. That one hour drop in daylight seems to be enough to trigger a molt.

Could be...I did not take notes when I started the lighting(DARNIT!!) think I've kept them above 13 hours tho.

Am really up in the air about lighting and its effects in a BYC situ...wish I could do a more controlled study.

I'm usually good at detailed data collection, except when I'm not<rolleyes>

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Aart, your longest day is probably just over 15 hours. They’ve already lost 2 hours if you provide 13. That can easily be enough to cause a molt. It should help them get back to laying once they are over the molt, but most of mine start laying anyway regardless of how long the day is once they finish the molt. Not all of them of course, but a lot of them.

You can do a search and find your day length, look at June 21 for the longest day. This link may help.

http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/Dur_OneYear.php

A controlled study would need several different flocks with the hens randomly mixed and enough members in each flock for the averages to mean something. You would control everything except one variable. I can’t even come close to managing that. That means my results will always be questionable.

I will do things like put up different roost materials, flat or on edge 2x4’s and tree limbs all at the same time and watch to see what they do and draw my conclusions from that. I know I don’t have a representative sample and my opinions are based on my observations so my results won’t stand up to scientific analysis or peer review, but I can draw conclusions from that. I’m good at drawing conclusions and having opinions, right or wrong.

I grow a little impatient when people seem to think that they are unique in the world. Of course they are. Just like everyone else.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

I grow a little impatient when people seem to think that they are unique in the world. Of course they are. Just like everyone else.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Yeah I've got a day length site I use.

So you don't use lighting at all, correct?

Do they start laying again before or after the winter solstice?

Edited by aart - 10/26/15 at 9:12am

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Aart you should be able to guess my answer on that one. When do I ever say anything other than “maybe”? Some wait until the days are getting longer, maybe February or even March. Some start soon after the molt is finished, normally starting in November or December. Then I have that broody hen that started in October after she finished her molt. My chickens are not consistent.

Most of mine are laying by early February, which is normally when I start gathering eggs for my first hatch of the year. I could probably help myself out with that by extending the days a bit in early January just as the days are starting to get longer but that has not been a big problem.

I grow a little impatient when people seem to think that they are unique in the world. Of course they are. Just like everyone else.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

I grow a little impatient when people seem to think that they are unique in the world. Of course they are. Just like everyone else.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridgerunner

Aart you should be able to guess my answer on that one. When do I ever say anything other than “maybe”? Some wait until the days are getting longer, maybe February or even March. Some start soon after the molt is finished, normally starting in November or December. Then I have that broody hen that started in October after she finished her molt. My chickens are not consistent.

Most of mine are laying by early February, which is normally when I start gathering eggs for my first hatch of the year. I could probably help myself out with that by extending the days a bit in early January just as the days are starting to get longer but that has not been a big problem.

So you 'maybe' use lighting? ;-)

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

No I don't. I've considered it but never used it. With my luck a bulb would blow out and I'd cause a molt in the ones that were laying by shortening their daylight.

I grow a little impatient when people seem to think that they are unique in the world. Of course they are. Just like everyone else.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

I grow a little impatient when people seem to think that they are unique in the world. Of course they are. Just like everyone else.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

I'm certain the drop in eggs is due to molting. Sure a snake or two has been found on my property, but this would not explain what I am seeing nor would any other predator.

I meant to say my timer starts 3 hours prior to dusk and stays on three hours post dusk. This is because I put my birds back in the house in late afternoon some days, and lately I've been storing a lot of hay in the barn that covers the Windows.
I figured it was something like that, I make that kind of mistake too often. And sorry for the conversation with Aart, we do that occasionally. I thought it was still pretty much on the topic.

If you only provide light at the beginning of the day or the end of the day, the days are still getting shorter unless you make constant adjustments. The sun rises later and sets earlier. It’s the days getting shorter or longer that has the impact, not the length of the days. I think you’re right, it’s the molt.

I grow a little impatient when people seem to think that they are unique in the world. Of course they are. Just like everyone else.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

I grow a little impatient when people seem to think that they are unique in the world. Of course they are. Just like everyone else.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

I like the light on only in the mornings...

....left it on in the evening again to see what they would do, they were not roosted this time and it was well after dark.

They were not happy when I turned off the light, I had to guide them to roosts with the flashlight.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Pleased to report my two broodies were back at work on the production line after their day off and one of Tasha's daughter's helped out too. so I got 3 eggs yesterday!!. Her 5 other sisters are all in full moult so either she started early and is back on line or she has yet to start. The 6 sisters all look alike so I have difficulty keeping track of what stage each is at, but I see that she is the only one with feathers intact and a red comb now I'm paying attention to such things..

I'm not using artificial light as I prefer not to mess with their natural bio rhythms..... I worked shifts for a lot of years and I know what that does to you.

It's interesting to hear that other people are finding the same thing with their broody hens being the mainstay of winter egg production..

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