Extremely Heavy Molt????

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Country Guy John, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. Country Guy John

    Country Guy John Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2008
    South Carolina
    Hello All,

    My Buff Opringtons were 1 year old this past April. They stopped laying in June. At first I thought it was the hot weather but then they went through a very heavy molt in late August or early September. This molt was so heavy that you could visibly see an excess of feathers in the run and house. At first I thought something was after them but that was ruled out because all of my chickens are still there. Also, the chickens now look "brand new" with their new feathering. This is my first time with this breed and I have never noticed this before in other breeds (Barred Rock, Australorps, & Jersey Giants) that I have had in the past. Water, feed, and protection is maintained.


    How long after the molt before they start laying or what could be the problem? Im depending on you (my feathered friends lovers) for your expert opinion.


  2. Makomd

    Makomd Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 24, 2011
    ES of MD , USA
    This time of year could likely be lack of light. You can add light to their coop with a timer and supply the additional light if you would like. Still may take a week or so before they pick back up.
  3. CoopCognito

    CoopCognito New Egg

    Mar 29, 2013
    Our two Buffs 7mo have stopped laying after producing 6ea per week consistently from mid June. Our Wellsummer still laying an egg a day. Daylight hasn't shrunk that much yet here in East Tennessee. Perplexed...and missing the great summer production.
  4. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2008
    Moulting can take over three months from start to finish, especially with a heavy moult like that (which sounds perfectly normal, btw). If you don't have a light on them, you can add a light on a timer to take them gradually up to 14-16 hours of light a day. Do it in half hour increments, adding half an hour of light a week.

    Your daylight hours have shrunk quite a bit. Looking at a sunrise/sunset table for Knoxville, your Sunrise: 7:50am; Sunset: 6:51pm. That's only 11 hours of daylight. Chickens need 14-16 hours of light to lay well. I would give you the same advice I gave John, above. Add a light on a timer, and increase the light weekly in half hour intervals until you have enough light.

    For both of you--here's the science: http://www.sp.uconn.edu/~mdarre/poultrypages/light_inset.html
    And here's and interview with a poultry vet that says it will not hurt the birds: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2011/09/supplemental-light-in-coop-why-how.html
  5. CoopCognito

    CoopCognito New Egg

    Mar 29, 2013
    Much appreciated!!! Good advice and link.

    Best, Scott
  6. CoopCognito

    CoopCognito New Egg

    Mar 29, 2013
    Update: After installing christmas lights on a timer, All of the girls are back to laying on a daily basis. Thanks!

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