Brooding, molting, and egg laying.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AliceCat, Aug 24, 2016.

  1. AliceCat

    AliceCat New Egg

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    May 26, 2015
    Lucinda is a 16-month old Buff Orpington. Sweet little girl. She started laying at 5 months and produced an egg a day for 5 months straight. Then she started skipping a day or two a week. That was still fine with me. Eleanor, our Ameraucana, is also a good producer, so we have enough eggs. Lucinda went broody on June 11, and even with our efforts to lock her out of the coop after Eleanor laid her egg, she didn't come out of it until around July 21. Now she's apparently molting. Lots of feather loss, even her tail feathers. We live in St. Louis, and the temps have been in the 90s. This has had little to no affect on Eleanor. Lucinda is still not laying. How long after brooding does it take before they lay again, and does the molting prolong the eggless-ness? Will I ever see an egg from her again? She is acting perfectly normal otherwise.
     
  2. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!![​IMG]

    Poor girl! She's been through a lot! I wouldn't expect eggs from her for a while. After a broody spell, it can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for a hen to start laying again. BUT, if she is molting, then the eggs probably won't appear until she is finished, which could be several weeks to several months. [​IMG] Chickens all molt at their own pace so it's hard to say when exactly she will stop molting and begin laying again.

    Here's a link on how to help chickens through the molt as well as more info on the molt in general.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/what-happens-when-chickens-molt

    Hope this helps! Good luck and welcome to this community!
     
  3. AliceCat

    AliceCat New Egg

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    May 26, 2015
    Great info! Thank you! More questions...

    Oatmeal cooked or uncooked, and how much? Cup or half a cup versus a tablespoon?

    Tuna from the can wet or let it dry out, and how much?

    I suspect that Eleanor will eat some of this, too.

    Thanks again. This is our first chicken experience (which has thus far been great).
     
  4. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All three of my birds molted last summer at the same time and I went about a month with no eggs.
    My little hen that goes broody usually stops laying for about 3 weeks as long as I keep removing the eggs. She normally breaks after a week or so of removing eggs.

    My dominant hen molting again now, no eggs in the last week. Feathers all over the run. When got her to squat yesterday I gave her a vigorous back rub and feathers went everywhere. When she puffed & shook even more feather flew!
     
  5. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    As for the oatmeal, it doesn't matter if it is cooked or uncooked. You can give them a cup or two of it.

    Again, doesn't matter. Probably about a half a cup since it is stronger.
     
  6. AliceCat

    AliceCat New Egg

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    May 26, 2015
    Finally, an EGG!

    Lucinda went broody on June 11 and then began molting. She did not lay another egg until September 2! So for those of you who are unfamiliar with brooding and molting (as I am), know that eventually your lady will lay another egg. She went 12 weeks without laying -- this from a little girl who faithfully lays an egg a day.

    Thanks for the support and knowledgeable reply.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    If you break their broody right away, they'll go back to laying faster.
     
  8. AliceCat

    AliceCat New Egg

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    We tried! Kept removing her from the nesting box and putting her into the run and locked her out of the coop after Eleanor produced her egg. She was pitiful. Didn't really want to isolate her into a wire cage. She's laying now, so we're happy.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Use a wire cage and it's all over in a few days to a week....instead of dragging it out for week and weeks....better for chickens and keepers in the long run.

    If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, best to break her broodiness promptly.
    My experience went like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop and I would feed her some crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day (you don't have to) and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two.
    Water nipple bottle added after pic was taken.
    [​IMG]
     

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