First Fall/Winter - Egg laying?

Medda

Songster
Dec 5, 2017
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Northern Middle TN
Hi all,
This is my first Fall/Winter with chickens. The chicks were hatched in March and are 8 months old. No supplemental light in the coop. Most of the chicks stopped laying a few weeks ago with the exception of my hybrids (red/gold/black sex links). From the hybrids I'm getting on average 3-4 eggs a day from 5 pullets. The other pullets are a mix of breeds (Welsummer, Buckeye, Easter Egger) and are not laying right now. They don't appear to be molting although a couple of them (the Welsummers and EE) are looking a little scruffy right now. No large areas of feather loss or bald areas, just a little scruffy. So my questions:

1) I was under the impression that they would not molt the first fall/winter?
2) When can/should I expect them to begin laying again? Some of my co-workers who have chickens in the Middle TN area said their hens begin laying again around the end of December/First of January?

Thanks, Medda
 

DobieLover

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Can you post some pictures of your scruffy chickens? And their coop and run?
What are you feeding them? Have you noticed any suspect droppings?
They should have done a few mini-molts as they were maturing. They shouldn't do a full molt until next fall.
I too have this years hatch pullets. I have 8 in my original flock and I've seen a drop off from about 5-7 a day to 4-5. Not much but a little. The days are getting shorter.
 

Medda

Songster
Dec 5, 2017
115
235
136
Northern Middle TN
The coop is a 10x16 Woods with an attached 40x48 run. 14 birds total; 2 cockerels and 12 pullets.

211E17AF-48AA-417E-9060-A24348D3AB2A.jpeg


And the scruffy looking WelSummer:

C5D2715E-5FB1-4B13-8060-BD06820D1D12.jpeg


They are on flock raiser, 20% protein with oyster shell available. They also get occasional cabbage, lettuce, carrots, and pumpkin with a handful of 5 grain scratch thrown into the run in the evening.
Thanks Medda
 

aart

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Nov 27, 2012
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1) I was under the impression that they would not molt the first fall/winter?
2) When can/should I expect them to begin laying again? Some of my co-workers who have chickens in the Middle TN area said their hens begin laying again around the end of December/First of January?
1. Yeah, true, but some will do a partial molt their first winter.
My 9mo wellie did it her first winter, have had a few (and read about more) that do so.
Some pullets will lay all thru their first winter without supplemental lighting, others will slow or stop.

2. Sounds about right. The days begin to lengthen again at Solstice...so any time after that....you won't know exactly when until it happens.

Both Q's...live animals don't always follow our 'timelines'. :lol:
Great post.....Gorgeous coop!
 

fldiver97

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Aug 5, 2009
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Nice coop! Maybe a ‘mini molt’.... My EEs tend to look scruffy at times even when not molting. Mostly after laying well for a stretch. My heritage breed chooks lay ‘in waves’. They slow down and or even stop for a a few weeks and then start again. For a couple of months during summer they’re all most productive. Make sure none have internal or external parasites, clean water, access to feed and oyster shells (no bullies making it hard for some to access food and water). Check for overall health, behavior. And .... check for hidden stash of eggs! Some hens can be sneaky
 

rjohns39

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Mine have pretty much quit for the season. Many are molting and the young pullets haven't started to lay yet. So far, new pullets in the flock generally start laying around the end of November/early December and everyone else will start after the solstice. Ducks will generally make me wait until February as will the turkeys.
 

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