How long is too long for molting?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Cindilou, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. Cindilou

    Cindilou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was reading one of Gail Damerow's poultry books and some other sites around the tubes regarding chickens with long periods of molting, and there seems to be a consensus that they will not be good layers in the long run. I am going on at least 3 months of no eggs from my 2 hatchery minorcas. Feathers everywhere, never totally bald patches on them, just a very long time molting.
    Has this been the case with anyone else? I know that 2 birds may not seem like a lot but, as they used to lay nearly every day for 6 months or so, (and they are barely a year old) I am at a loss of about 48 eggs a month from those two combined and we sell the extra eggs we get to friends and family to help cover the cost of feed for the ladies. I need some advice! Keep, cull, wait it out longer...what have others done in the past with small backyard flocks?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are not a year an moulting? It happens but not often.

    Daylight is changing so a slow down would be in the works anyway. You are aware that it is possible not to get any eggs in the winter, right?
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    If egg production is really that important to you, my suggestion is to really consider some commercial hens and swap them out every two years. Always have a young group being readied and culling at the end of the 2nd laying season. There is virtually no other way you can consistently have year round production, in my experience. A half dozen ISA Browns or great laying Leghorn strain will keep you in eggs. You might consider adding these to your flock.

    Perhaps you'd like to read a couple of short articles I wrote here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=69833
     
  4. Cindilou

    Cindilou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I see you are in the South. Do you get 0 eggs in the winter?
    They stopped in the middle of summer, not a slow down, a stop during the longest periods of the day. Maybe it's the heat of Florida.
     
  5. Cindilou

    Cindilou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fred's Hens :

    If egg production is really that important to you, my suggestion is to really consider some commercial hens and swap them out every two years. Always have a young group being readied and culling at the end of the 2nd laying season. There is virtually no other way you can consistently have year round production, in my experience. A half dozen ISA Browns or great laying Leghorn strain will keep you in eggs. You might consider adding these to your flock.

    Perhaps you'd like to read a couple of short articles I wrote here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=69833

    Right, having year round production would be great, but having any production at all from these two would be just fine. Stopping during the longest days to go into molt in their first year is what concerns me because it is not normal laying behavior overall. I have a few hybrid layers now and they pay their rent and will likely lay throughout the mild Florida winter.
    Thanks for the articles. It is pretty much understood that for best egg production a swap every two years is the way to go. Nevertheless, like you and many others, I enjoy a variety of color back there. Due to relative newness of it all, there is still concern for the girls when they fall into being outliers on the bell curve of chicken normalcy.​
     
  6. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens stopped laying alltogether in summer this year too. The incredible Texas heat and drought had a lot to do with that. Unfortunately, my beloved girls also got attacked at the end of summer, so I have new chicks growing out in the house, so I don't have any idea if my girls would have started laying again as the temps cooled. Was Florida super hot this year like Texas? Maybe that had something to do with it?

    Also, durring moult, I give my girls extra black oil sunflower seeds, and sometimes, even cat food, just for the extra protien. It helps them get through the moult quicker.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  7. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    I've never had pullets molt the first year. They may have juvie molt and it is not that noticeable. I live in Ohio and I have girls that lay in the winter and I don't supplement light. I just look for the ones that lay in the winter. And go with that. You can try to give them so BOSS to up their protein, I've even heard of peeps give cat food.
     
  8. Cindilou

    Cindilou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Sort of. I live less than 10 minutes from the Gulf. There is almost always a breeze and the girls are under a giant shade tree. Most of the time, especially during August, it was hotter in the Midwest than in my backyard.
     
  9. johnsons-r-us

    johnsons-r-us Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fred's Hens :

    If egg production is really that important to you, my suggestion is to really consider some commercial hens and swap them out every two years. Always have a young group being readied and culling at the end of the 2nd laying season. There is virtually no other way you can consistently have year round production, in my experience. A half dozen ISA Browns or great laying Leghorn strain will keep you in eggs. You might consider adding these to your flock.

    Perhaps you'd like to read a couple of short articles I wrote here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=69833

    I really enjoyed your articles. Obvious wisdom and practicality. I am trying for a small scale of what you have accomplished [​IMG]
    And having fun on the journey!​
     
  10. Sissy

    Sissy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Same here no eggs for last 6 months and feathers all over
    coop
    but hens look full and fancy with all their feathers,
    so I bought
    some worms to give them give them more protein.. hope it works and will have a 40 watt
    in their coop.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011

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