Adopted hens molting. Extra light?

Im Barred up

In the Brooder
7 Years
May 6, 2012
New Brunswick
I adopted three Redstars yesterday who are mid-molt. I added them to my Barred Rock flock of five who are not molting. I have a light come on in the coop at 4am for my birds which gives them 13.5hrs of daylight. Is the light in the coop going to affect the new molting girls who are only used to natural light of about 10hrs of daylight? Also she told me that her birds are 1 yr old, and mine are 9 months. Will mine molt in the spring when they are the year old, is the light preventing the molt, or are the adopted girls older then what she told me? She showed me an egg that was in her coop and the Redstars eggs are alot larger then my 9 month old BR's eggs which leads me to believe they're older then what she said. Thanks


Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
14 Years
Nov 9, 2007
SW Arkansas
The first adult molt usually comes in the 18 month old range, so your original hens are a long ways away from that. Some pullets do go through a mini-molt in the 8 to 9 month old range, but it's usually a very light one. Time and diet are what will take care of the molt of your newer, older hens.

I don't add light, never have, but I can tell you that spring chicks coming into their first winter usually lay well through that first winter, regardless of the amount of daylight. Then the next fall rolls around, they molt and depending on breed, decrease or stop laying over winter. Barred rocks are considered good winter layers, so the likely scenario is that they will lay well (or at least consistently) from now until next fall; when they are about 18 months old. Then they'll have their first adult molt and resume laying when that's finished. It's for this reason that I personally see no point in adding light on first year birds. I currently have 7 pullets roughly the same age as your younger girls - brahmas, another good winter laying breed. I'm not adding light and have more girls starting to lay each week; even as the amount of daylight decreases more each day.

About the age question, red stars/production reds/sex links go from small pullet eggs to extra large pretty quickly; so I wouldn't suspect they are older than you were told based on that alone. If they are in a full molt, I would put their age somewhere in the 16 to 18 month old range.

For future reference - quarantine is a very good idea whenever adding new birds to a flock. Most of us are very attached to our very first chickens. I wouldn't want any new additions to the flock to bring in illness upon my old gals, now nearly 5 years old. I always, always quarantine new birds for at least 30 days; longer if I suspect a problem.

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