dehowery

Chirping
Feb 13, 2017
101
92
99
alabama
I have a Wellsummer (big red BR) who went thru "the Molt TM" last September (2017) she stopped laying eggs when she started the molt. She just started laying eggs again about 1 month ago. We have 11 younger pullets who started laying slightly before BR . We think she is laying because the eggs we think are hers are speckled but so much smaller than they were before the TM.
Is this common thing that they will take so long to start laying again and the egg size reduction? We are not positive the eggs are hers because the 11 younger girls are laying too.
And when they started to lay not all started at the same time. Plus the eggs to start were all small , we are now getting larger eggs from "the girls" So the 8 other girls that could produce these eggs are COCO Morans. (I know there are are supposed to be a darker brown) of which we are not getting. And we have Barred rocks (which also lay a brown egg). We also have a black copper Moran who is over 8 mos who has never layed/laid an egg yet. ( Their eggs are supposed to be dark chocolate colored.) The only girls we are sure of are the leghorns. They started laying and have layed/laid every day for over a month now.
So do the eggs shrink the second year of laying after TM?
Also I have read the hens laying ability goes down by 20% each year after TM ?

Also here's a third question, any ideas why the copper Moran isn't laying? She is about 8 months old has the same nutrition as the others, the same stressors , same coop, , same everything . So we have 13 birds and average 7-10 eggs a day (3 of the eggs are white laid by our leghorns, so the other 4-6 are laid by the other 10 birds). Those girls are not keeping up their end of the bargain.
Another question Any idea how we can pin point who is laying and who is not other than egg color. We know for sure the COCO's are laying we see them in the nests but the egg color just isn't there.
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
Nov 23, 2010
29,002
18,228
867
St. Louis, MO
Before she molted last year, were the Welsummer's eggs speckled?
Other than her, are the other birds all Marans, Leghorns and Plymouth Rocks?
It isn't normal to lay smaller eggs after molt. On the contrary, they should be larger.
So perhaps she never resumed laying.
If breeders don't select for dark eggs in their genetic consideration, that color will quickly be lost whether the breed is Marans, Welsummer, Barnevelder, Penedesenca or Empordanesa.
I bought hatching eggs of 3 varieties of Marans from a farm that claimed they were Bev Davis and Jean Wade lines. Very disappointing. Two varieties were no darker than my JG eggs and the third were the same color as from my lightest hue Pene hens eggs.
You can put food coloring in the vent to see who is laying what. You can also check the distance between the pointy pelvic bones to see who is laying and who isn't. 2+ finger width space indicates they may be laying. Less than that and they definitely aren't.
 

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