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How best to space pullets to account for molting

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
We have a very small flock (4 right now but one is looking like a rooster so very well may be 3 soon!) If our 4th girl is indeed a cockerel, we will probably add 2 new chicks at some point in the next year.

I am wondering if there is any ideal time to help ensure the most steady egg production. Is it likely that our current girls will molt together being that they are the same age? Or is it more seasonally motivated and they will all molt together regardless of age?

Since we have such small numbers, even if 2 hens molt simultaneously, we would have a substantial drop in eggs.
Edited by saraem - 5/23/16 at 8:44am
post #2 of 8
Your current hens won't molt until next year, 2017, in the fall. Most will go through it from September to December. So you would want next year's birds to start laying about that time. Depending on breeds I would buy my chicks from April to June. I always buy my replacements by June and they are laying well by December.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you!! That's exactly the info I was hoping for.
post #4 of 8

Yep, new pullets every spring to ensure eggs thru the olders molt in fall and hopefully thru winter too.

Not all pullets will always lay thru winter without supplemental lighting.

 

But you have to plan on how you are going to integrate new birds each spring/summer

(easiest to do with some 'extra' space),  

and what to do with the older(est) birds when you start running out of space. 

 

To keep the eggs coming, breed can also matter a great deal, especially if you are so limited on population.

Getting a production breed almost guarantees an egg a day continuously for months on end....

.....other breeds, not so much.

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."

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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."

Reply
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
We have a RIR, a Buff Orpington, a Barred Rock, and a Black Australorp (this is the suspected cockerel). All hatchery stock.

If we do add 2 chicks next year I'd like a wellsummer and a blue egg layer (still deciding on breed), and I would get them from a breeder to ensure good egg color. I know that means less eggs perhaps, but I'm ok with that as our family only uses about a dozen/week.
post #6 of 8

Hens of different breeds are likely to molt at different times, and that helps with maintaining egg production throughout the year.  Lighting from about four to eight AM during the winter months helps too.  Mary

post #7 of 8

I rotate my girls out at 24-30 months old but always have the new girls laying before laying before the old girls really get into their molt which usually starts late September or October where I live. For this reason I try to have my new girls by mid March which will have most of the new girls laying by late summer so I always have eggs. 

If  you ain't the lead dog the view never changes!
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If  you ain't the lead dog the view never changes!
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post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanEP View Post
 

I rotate my girls out at 24-30 months old but always have the new girls laying before laying before the old girls really get into their molt which usually starts late September or October where I live. For this reason I try to have my new girls by mid March which will have most of the new girls laying by late summer so I always have eggs. 

Yeppers, same here!

New girls are laying in time for old girls to be culled before winter population restrictions come into effect here.


Edited by aart - 5/24/16 at 3:22am

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."

Reply

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."

Reply
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