Duration of moulting? LeghornX stopped laying 4 months ago, has not resumed. Still goes to nest eve

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ChemKelly, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. ChemKelly

    ChemKelly Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hello, I'm a little puzzled, hope you can help...

    My LeghornX was a great daily layer.
    At the end of July (Winter) egg-laying ceased. At that time, my Leghorn chicken was aged 14 months old (63 weeks).
    Today, 4 months later (19 weeks), egg laying has not resumed. It is now the start of Summer.

    Facts:
    • The chicken has been going to the nest every day and sitting on other eggs for 30 mins.
    • It sometimes does the egg laying call afterwards.
    • Supplementary light is provided all year.
    • The other 5 chickens of the same age did not moult AFAIK, and kept laying throughout the winter.
    • No signs of illness. Eating & acting fine.
    • No other places to hide eggs (except internally in her body!?)
    • Wormed and deloused every 2-3 months.


    We do not get very cold winters here:
    [​IMG]

    How long can a moult last?

    I'm starting to think about letting her go.
    Should I give her more time? How much longer should I wait? Is there anything else I can do?


    In case your wondering, I know who lays what as I have a time lapse camera in the nests.
     
  2. BorneHomestead

    BorneHomestead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    what does her comb look like? pale, deep red, small or large?
     
  3. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ChemKelly [​IMG]

    My LeghornX was a great daily layer.
    At the end of July (Winter) egg-laying ceased. At that time, my Leghorn chicken was aged 14 months old (63 weeks).
    Today, 4 months later (19 weeks), egg laying has not resumed. It is now the start of Summer.
    Facts:
    • The chicken has been going to the nest every day and sitting on other eggs for 30 mins....
    Pure bred white leghorns should never sit on eggs in a nest without laying an egg of their own.. All white leghorns that I know about have had all the instinct to sit bred out of them. Could your bird be some other white bird like a Cornish meat bird leghorn cross whose genetic profile would lead to not laying as many eggs as a purebred hen? Your hen is certainly of the age to go through a major adult molt and this type of molt is well known for depressing egg production.

    4 months times 30 days per month is 120 days.
    365 days minus 120 days is 245 days or 245 days per year..

    Why did I mention this? I brought this up because 90 years ago white leghorn breeders were advertizing that their blood lines produced 200 - 220 eggs per year, a phanominal feat at the time.
    Today's standard is 300 or more eggs per year.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=_M...go#v=onepage&q=baby chicken toe punch&f=false
     
  4. ChemKelly

    ChemKelly Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia
    This is her (that's just a bit of black paint on her for ID)
    She's not really a leghorn, she lays brown eggs. She's a cross with a bit of leghorn, isa brown, and whatever else.
    Her frame is quite slim and slender like a leghorn.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    My Coop
    She looks like she's ready to start back up. I've had hens take 5 months to molt. Once they get all their feathers back in, they have to get their body weight back up to a safe level. She's already back in the nest box, so I think you have eggs coming from her really soon.
     
  6. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    x2. That looks like a bird that's finally done moulting. Moulting for four months isn't unheard of, and my flock has been moulting for the past four months, too. They're just finally looking like birds instead of plucked chickens again.

    I have a bird coming out of moult right now that clearly isn't laying eggs yet, but goes to the box every day. It's almost like she was in the habit of sitting there for a bit each day, so she still does.
     
  7. BorneHomestead

    BorneHomestead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 10, 2013
    She looks good, do you know if she does the submissive squat? If so I would say she should be laying again soon if she isn't already. I have 1 hen that takes 6 months to molt, molting can last anywhere from 10 weeks to 6 months.
     
  8. ChemKelly

    ChemKelly Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia
    Still no eggs from her. She still goes to the nest every day for 30 minutes or so, does the submissive squat etc. Seems healthy. Nothing has changed, she always did go to the nest and did the squat.
    Looks like she will be having the same fate as my roos soon
    [​IMG]
     

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