Artificial light after molting

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Harriet, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. Harriet

    Harriet Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 7, 2008
    I have seven wyandottes which have stopped laying in the past week. Two are molting. I have read on other websites that for the health of the hen it is better to allow them to molt before adding artificial light through the winter months. I'm not really concerned about egg production if allowing them to molt and to stop laying is the best thing for the hens. Any thoughts or advice? Thanks.
  2. rdranch

    rdranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2007
    Our girls were finishing up their molt right about the time I started increasing daylight. i was very diligent in giving them BOSS and other types of additional protein. I started with the lights in the morning when it looked like most of them were done.

    I was getting only one or two eggs daily when they were molting, now that has increased to almost eight a day. They are going on two years old and I did want to push them too hard.

    Now they look great and production is picking up![​IMG]
  3. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Here's a thought, Harriet, and welcome to BYC!!

    Molting hens should be treated as tho' they are convalescing - plenty of rest and once they start turning that corner towards better health - plenty of good food. As they become more healthy and active, that seems like the time to allow them longer days.

    My 2 year old hens always molted in October. The light is failing fast at that time (well, it fails fast right up until December 21st around here [​IMG]). My idea has been to allow things to run on an outdoor schedule until about November 1st. By then, the weather really begins to deteriorate and darkness rather than light is in control outdoors.

    The birds often have late Autumn days when they don't want to be out in the wind, rain and snow and would rather stand around in the coop and gossip, anyway [​IMG].

    If you live where the weather and sunlight allows for molting at this time of year, that's probably far more of a natural environment than up here near 49° North. They need at least a month of rest . . . may as well be December [​IMG].

    Just my thoughts . . .

    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  4. Harriet

    Harriet Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 7, 2008
    Thanks for the advice. I was leaning toward letting them finish molting before lengthing their days artificially and I'm going to go with that. Just lots of good food and rest for my girls![​IMG]


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