My girls just finished their first hard molt about 6 weeks ago. How long before I can expect an egg? Their last egg was September 6th.
How long after molting do they start laying again
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Do you have lights on them?
When you say finished, do you mean finished dropping feathers, or are alll their feathers fully grown in?
When my birds are under lights, I usually see eggs within two weeks of all their feathers being completely re-grown.
Ah, but did they molt last year? Spring-hatched pullets don't usually have a fall molt and will lay through their first winter. It's the next year when you find out whether they're inclined to take the winter off or not.
I didn't get eggs from any of my 18ish-month hens that had finished molting until I put lights on them. Just a couple hours in the early morning with 40 watts and 2.5 weeks later, I now have 4 out of 6 laying again and with the other two reddening back up.
If you want eggs this winter, a simple 75 watt bulb on a timer that comes on around 4am and off again around sunrise should be sufficient to get them to lay all winter. And since you say you only get 13 hours of daylight even in the summer, I'd keep up the lighting year-round.
I have lights in my coop and my hens usually start laying again about 2 weeks after their molt, sometimes longer if the molt is REALLY hard. I would put a light in your coop year round, if you only get a max of 13 hours of daylight. For optimum laying, your hens need 14 hours of light. A 40 watt bulb works in coops smaller than 100 sq ft, and a 60 watt in coops smaller than 200 sq ft. I have one 65 watt bulb on a timer in my coop. It comes on a few hours before sunrise and a few hours after sunset, and basically imitates the hours of light they would get in the summer.
Make sure the light is suspended AT LEAST 7 feet above the ground. I would also recommend finding a guard for the light, so that the chickens can't accidentally break the bulb (it happens).
Pullets will usually lay through their first winter, but hens older than one year will molt every year in fall/winter. Although some years their molt will be so light that you won't even notice it.
They will start back up without lights - they usually do not take the entire winter off. Molting in my flocks takes about 3 months. Some are slower, some are a little quicker. Once their feathers are grown back in, they have to get their body weight back up. Molting takes a lot out of them. Then their combs will turn from the shriveled/pale to bright red again. Then they will begin laying again.
I do not light my coop and I have 1 hen that has started back up. I have several that have red combs again, so they should be starting up again soon.
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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