Do hens stop laying during a molting season?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chickadee-23, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. Chickadee-23

    Chickadee-23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 3 laying hens 1 RSL & 2 RIRs, they been laying everyday until last week they stoped, i been giving them boiled egg and meal worms just a little bit of scratch, i have 2 bantams still laying but not my laying hens, they don't look like they have any bare feathers, but they have a few on the ground in the run, so if its molting will they stop laying? They will be a year old October 8,
    Thank you!!
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Ya, generally hens will stop laying during molting, especially older birds. Some of the more production breeds/ crosses like yours though may not do a real full molt the first time so will start laying again pretty fast if they do stop. Nice article on molting (note it is from Australia so months are about opposite the US for what hens usually do) http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/217/moulting-a-natural-process
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Look for your girls to have their first molt around February or March. They probably will stop laying during this period as feather regrowth saps the protein out of their systems. The length of molt, the intensity, and the length they won't be laying varies greatly.

    Just be prepared for a LOT of feathers to be falling like snow during a blizzard come middle of winter.

    If they have stopped laying at this time, it's probably due to the shortening days. You could get them started again by supplementing the natural light with a light on a timer to give them a total of twelve hours if they aren't getting that much. But to try to stimulate laying during molt is a mistake in my opinion since it places too much strain on their health.
     
  4. Chickadee-23

    Chickadee-23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok thanks one of my girls started laying again i dont give them boiled egg regularly during molting just before they finish molting i have done this with my bantams and their feathers come back prettier i have some adult birds molting now so thought maybe they were to they look some what rough but not bare spots my roo has lost some feathers but hes older than my girls tho, hopefully they other 2 will start laying again to!! :)
     

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