Chickens egg production way down

Rugerman

Chirping
Oct 28, 2017
23
14
54
We have 36 chickens and too many Rosters 6,the flock was getting stressed out. So we thinned the heard to 2 rosters then 1 died . So we are down to 1 roster he seems happy now . Also the chickens are molting. I am down from getting 10 eggs a day to 1 to 2.it has been 8 weeks now. The weather is changing too. We just put the heat lamps back in in the coup too . Is there anything we can do to speed up the molting and help the chickens distress from all the changes?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Suffering Succotash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
44,753
78,173
1,452
Wisconsin
A higher protein feed will help them molt faster. A heat lamp may cause extra stress. Chickens generally don't need extra heat, and can actually get too warm with them.

What's your location as far as climate? What are you feeding? How old are your birds?

Generally this time of year production slows way down or stops completely. It will pick up after the winter solstice under increasing daylight.
 

pwiker

Chirping
Jun 19, 2017
78
98
71
Lancaster, PA
It is possible to force molting. Typically, commercial enterprises do this to make all of their chickens molt at the same time. A forced molt requires removing food from the chickens from 7 to 14 days and a portion of that time will likely have water withheld as well. It's really hard on the chickens, but you will find that molt time will be reduced to about 4 weeks. Natural first molt can take up to 12 weeks. If you are concerned with being nice to your chickens, just wait it out. I will seem like forever.
 

rebrascora

Free Ranging
5 Years
Feb 14, 2014
7,127
8,752
556
Consett Co.Durham. UK
A forced molt requires removing food from the chickens from 7 to 14 days and a portion of that time will likely have water withheld as well.
I would be interested to know the source of this information as I am extremely sceptical about it. Chickens need nutrients to grow feathers and they need nutrients to lay eggs. If you withhold food, for more than a couple of days they will start to eat into their own body reserves ie their breast muscle. Hens will not lay eggs unless their body condition is good, so you would then have to wait until they put weight back on for them to come back into production, so it does not make sense to withhold food for so long. If you withhold water they will die.
 

pwiker

Chirping
Jun 19, 2017
78
98
71
Lancaster, PA
During the withholding of food, their feathers fall out. Once back on feed, they regrow their feathers. Water does not get withheld to that extent. Certainly, killing the chicken is not the goal. You can read some about it on wikipedia or read a bit about the effects here. It is not practiced in the EU.

I am not suggesting that you do this, but it is a possible answer to the question.
 

Rugerman

Chirping
Oct 28, 2017
23
14
54
A higher protein feed will help them molt faster. A heat lamp may cause extra stress. Chickens generally don't need extra heat, and can actually get too warm with them.

What's your location as far as climate? What are you feeding? How old are your birds?

Generally this time of year production slows way down or stops completely. It will pick up after the winter solstice under increasing daylight.
 

Rugerman

Chirping
Oct 28, 2017
23
14
54
During the withholding of food, their feathers fall out. Once back on feed, they regrow their feathers. Water does not get withheld to that extent. Certainly, killing the chicken is not the goal. You can read some about it on wikipedia or read a bit about the effects here. It is not practiced in the EU.

I am not suggesting that you do this, but it is a possible answer to the question.
 

Rugerman

Chirping
Oct 28, 2017
23
14
54
Some of our chickens are the originals 8 year old some are 4 years old and 5 were born this spring. So we have a range.
We have had really wet weather here we live 40 miles north of Washington DC in maryland on a farm.
Our chickens have very large free range yard to run around in.
I will up their protein. I am off to the feed store tomorrow I can pick up some meealworms for them.
Thanks for the advise.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Suffering Succotash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
44,753
78,173
1,452
Wisconsin
Some of our chickens are the originals 8 year old some are 4 years old and 5 were born this spring. So we have a range.
We have had really wet weather here we live 40 miles north of Washington DC in maryland on a farm.
Our chickens have very large free range yard to run around in.
I will up their protein. I am off to the feed store tomorrow I can pick up some meealworms for them.
Thanks for the advise.
Those are pretty old hens, so any production from them is great. :thumbsup
 

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