Egg Laying and molting?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by m_shuman, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. m_shuman

    m_shuman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2011
    Springfield, GA
    I have a hen that has a bald back and her legs and underwing area are going bald too. At first I thought it might be to much love from the roo and feather plucking by the other hens because she is at the bottom of the pecking order. But now after looking at several pictures of molting chickens I am begining to think that is why she is bald. She is about 23 weeks old and has been laying for about a month now. At first she laid every day and now it seems like she lays about every 3 or 4 days. Can hens continue to lay during a molt? I ask this because I have read on here that they stop during a molt but she hasn't stopped laying completely just slowed down alot. Any help would be appreciated.
  2. ThePamperedPullet

    ThePamperedPullet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Not all hens will quit laying during molt. But there are other factors at play that also slow down the hens at this time of year. Hens generally molt heavily once a year, this being right around the start of Fall. The length of day is also getting shorter at this time of year. When a hen goes through molt she will be using up most of the protein available in her body to help produce new feathers. You can help offset this by feeding supplemental protein in the form of Kitten Kibble, Black Oil Sunflower Seeds, Tunafish and many other products high in protein. This wil help the hens get through molt faster and possibly help them continue to lay. Hens also require a minimum of 14 hours of light to continue laying on a normal schedule. This can be handled with a simple timer hooked to dim lights. Right now we are getting about 12 hours of daylight.
    We have hens that keep laying right through their molt and we have others that completely quit. It will depend a lot on the breed and the individual bird.

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