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16 month old hens havent moulted yet, ? supplemental lights?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Rhoise, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. Rhoise

    Rhoise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2012
    Boise, Idaho
    I have 10 sixteen month old hens(sex links, RIRs, PBR) that started laying last year in July/August. Last winter I added supplemental lighting(6am-8pm) started about this time of year(august) and quit when the days got longer than 14 hrs.

    The hens look great, red combs, shiny appearance, healthy, content, and have layed up a storm(90% production avg), and are now decreasing to about (70% production avg for the last 30 days).

    Is it common practice to start lights up again now if you are going to for the winter? or wait for a hard molt? A few birds have stopped laying much at all the last week or so, and I'm seeing some big primary feathers on the ground here and there but nothing serious yet as far as a molt.

    I guess my question is, if and when should I start up lighting for the winter with 16 mo old non molted hens
     
  2. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    I was instructed many years ago to light when days are below 14 hours of sunlight. For SE PA that is between August 15th and May 15th give or take. I just started my light on Aug 15th. I gradually have it on earlier as the days get shorter. In my previous 20 years I have always lighted this way and always had fall/winter molting chickens. I did not withhold light until they were done molting, as it usually goes on for several months with some laying & some molting at the same time, even though they were the same age. A great layer may be as old as 18 months or more when they molt. A poor layer would molt after a year of laying etc. I think I may have lousy layers this time, as they started laying in late August & September last year and some may already be molting. Hope this helps.
     

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