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Can molt effect egg size?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I have 9 laying hens. Most are in their first year, and are going through some stage of molt. I've had one who completely stopped laying, and finally started back up after a couple months. I've had others who slow down, laying only a couple per week.

 

But over the last couple of days, I've found some pretty small eggs. Maybe half or 2/3 regular size. Unfortunately, I didn't see who laid them. I also have a couple hens at point of lay, but I don't think any of the eggs are theirs. Can molt make their eggs smaller instead of stopping laying? What other things can turn a layer's eggs smaller?

2 years ago, a flat-lander, in FL, hiding in the house due to 8 months of heat and humidity every year. Now, living in the Smoky Mountains, gardening, keeping chickens, and loving life. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. I used to list here the breeds of chickens I owned. There is not enough room to do that anymore. I have lots of chickens....

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2 years ago, a flat-lander, in FL, hiding in the house due to 8 months of heat and humidity every year. Now, living in the Smoky Mountains, gardening, keeping chickens, and loving life. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. I used to list here the breeds of chickens I owned. There is not enough room to do that anymore. I have lots of chickens....

Reply
post #2 of 11

If you switch from feeding laying mash to hen scratch,

the eggs will become smaller and fewer. This also puts

them into a moult. Moulting puts lots of strees on a

chickens body, same as changing feed. Many will quit

laying entirely.

post #3 of 11

It's the new layers starting up.  Molting does affect egg size, but they get larger, not smaller.

Breeding Welsummers and Barnevelders.

 

Having an Icelandic in the coop is like having a 2 year old in the house - they are into everything and don't follow the rules.

I have zero chicken willpower.

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Breeding Welsummers and Barnevelders.

 

Having an Icelandic in the coop is like having a 2 year old in the house - they are into everything and don't follow the rules.

I have zero chicken willpower.

Reply
post #4 of 11

I am glad you pointed this out.  I have 2 girls who went through a lite moult and I thought their eggs had gotten bigger.  DH said I was crazy but seems I was right afterall!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Chooks View Post

It's the new layers starting up.  Molting does affect egg size, but they get larger, not smaller.



 

Proud stay at home mama of 2 boys, 2 Labs, and 9 Chickens.

Live like no one else and someday you can live like no one else
~Dave Ramsey
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Proud stay at home mama of 2 boys, 2 Labs, and 9 Chickens.

Live like no one else and someday you can live like no one else
~Dave Ramsey
Reply
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by m_shuman View Post

I am glad you pointed this out.  I have 2 girls who went through a lite moult and I thought their eggs had gotten bigger.  DH said I was crazy but seems I was right afterall!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Chooks View Post

It's the new layers starting up.  Molting does affect egg size, but they get larger, not smaller.



 


No problem.  Always love pointing out when a husband is wrong. lau.gif

 

Breeding Welsummers and Barnevelders.

 

Having an Icelandic in the coop is like having a 2 year old in the house - they are into everything and don't follow the rules.

I have zero chicken willpower.

Reply

Breeding Welsummers and Barnevelders.

 

Having an Icelandic in the coop is like having a 2 year old in the house - they are into everything and don't follow the rules.

I have zero chicken willpower.

Reply
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

I'm almost positive it isn't the new layers, but I guess you could be right.

 

Now, I know that egg size can increase after a molt, but during? Why wouldn't the extra protein going towards feather growth take away from the size of the egg?

2 years ago, a flat-lander, in FL, hiding in the house due to 8 months of heat and humidity every year. Now, living in the Smoky Mountains, gardening, keeping chickens, and loving life. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. I used to list here the breeds of chickens I owned. There is not enough room to do that anymore. I have lots of chickens....

Reply

2 years ago, a flat-lander, in FL, hiding in the house due to 8 months of heat and humidity every year. Now, living in the Smoky Mountains, gardening, keeping chickens, and loving life. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. I used to list here the breeds of chickens I owned. There is not enough room to do that anymore. I have lots of chickens....

Reply
post #7 of 11

Mine molted this year (about 18 months after hatching) and they layed smaller eggs (easily 1/2 to 2/3 size) for several weeks after. Now they are back to normal size.

Keeper of one great husband, 2 perfect daughters, 5 hens and too many other pets.
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Keeper of one great husband, 2 perfect daughters, 5 hens and too many other pets.
Reply
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffross1968 View Post

I'm almost positive it isn't the new layers, but I guess you could be right.

 

Now, I know that egg size can increase after a molt, but during? Why wouldn't the extra protein going towards feather growth take away from the size of the egg?



Hens usually do not lay eggs while molting.  So the eggs would get bigger after they are done molting.

 

 

I suppose it could be a fluke - just a smaller egg for a short time.  Are they pullet sized eggs?

Breeding Welsummers and Barnevelders.

 

Having an Icelandic in the coop is like having a 2 year old in the house - they are into everything and don't follow the rules.

I have zero chicken willpower.

Reply

Breeding Welsummers and Barnevelders.

 

Having an Icelandic in the coop is like having a 2 year old in the house - they are into everything and don't follow the rules.

I have zero chicken willpower.

Reply
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

No, I'd say they were slightly larger than pullet eggs. And I always seem to get a "pullet bullet" all skinny and stuff. These were well formed eggs, just smaller than normal.

 

I have a couple of hens that were positively laying during molt, but instead of stopping, they slowed down. Instead of laying 5 days in a row, they'd lay 2, so more break days every week. But this is the first time I've seen any smaller, and didn't see who laid them.

2 years ago, a flat-lander, in FL, hiding in the house due to 8 months of heat and humidity every year. Now, living in the Smoky Mountains, gardening, keeping chickens, and loving life. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. I used to list here the breeds of chickens I owned. There is not enough room to do that anymore. I have lots of chickens....

Reply

2 years ago, a flat-lander, in FL, hiding in the house due to 8 months of heat and humidity every year. Now, living in the Smoky Mountains, gardening, keeping chickens, and loving life. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. I used to list here the breeds of chickens I owned. There is not enough room to do that anymore. I have lots of chickens....

Reply
post #10 of 11

I definitely think moulting affects egg size and makes them smaller temporarily.  I have raised four flocks of chickens and now have girls in their third season and they can be very unpredictable.  We got an egg today that was extremely small.  I will try to post a pic so you can see!  It's crazy!  But I feel confident they will get back to normal!

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