Egg Laying & Molting

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by WeeksFarm, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. WeeksFarm

    WeeksFarm Hatching

    Jul 13, 2008
    Northwest Wisconsin
    I have 30 hens, Rhode Islands & Buffs. They are just over 1 year old. They have been laying since January. They started to molt around February and they still are. They look horrible. Some don't appear to be getting any pin feathers. They have dropped laying from about 25 eggs per day to just about 7 per day. They were getting 20% layer feed until just recently when I switched them to a non medicated grower feed. This is a commerical feed. They get free choice oyster shells. They are outside during the day in an enclosed area run. I am at a loss as to why they are not refeathering and why the drop in egg production. I have heard that weather (heat & humidity) will cut the production. Can anybody supply any answers?
  2. dixiechick

    dixiechick Songster

    The same thing is going on with our girls. I was told that this is expected...that it's natures way of conserving their energy. I think our girls are giving themselves a much needed break. When cooler weather comes, I expect things will resume to normal....

    ..come to thik of it, I don't look so good in the heat and humidity...and my energy for doing this is a little low too![​IMG]
  3. Pine Grove

    Pine Grove Songster

    Jul 18, 2007
    Lakeland, Ga
    Sounds like you may have feather pickers to me..This time of year is when chickens normally start to molt and is probably why you are seeing a drop in production
  4. jhc

    jhc In the Brooder

    May 25, 2007
    All my hens just came off a molt 3 weeks ago. They are starting to lay again.
  5. ella

    ella Songster

    Ok even the longest moult shouldn't last that long. They should be over it by now. Go out with a flashlight after dark and part their feathers around their behinds especially, and look for bugs. It's also a good time for a de worming. (I use Eprinex-for cattle-, but Wazine would be ok).

    If there is no sign of parasites, look at the feathers are there signs of blood? That would indicate one of the hens is picking at the new feathers. Whole different problem,let's find out what's going on.
  6. WeeksFarm

    WeeksFarm Hatching

    Jul 13, 2008
    Northwest Wisconsin

    Thanks for the suggestion about deworming. I never thought of that. I have checked with a flashlight and found no bugs (that I could see) and did dust them all and the floor also. I have noticed that there are some new pin feathers. It seems that the Rhode Islands are in tougher looking shape than the Buffs are. Thanks again.
  7. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

    Jul 5, 2007
    Sevier County, TN
    Mine haven't molted yet and were a year old mid-April. Should I worry that they haven't started molting? They refuse to sleep indoors, so if they molt in winter it could be REALLY hard on them!

    They've looked a little rough some days, so I thought maybe it was starting. And their egg-laying is a little slower. But not by much.
  8. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I think you should look at the feed they are getting. Only vegetable protein is not the best diet for chickens. They are omnivors and need meat protein.

    I have been through this and am still recovering from it. i changed my chickens to game bird feed.

    I am looking for fish meal to supplement them with too.

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