How long will molting last and when will egg production pick up?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by antiqfreq, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. antiqfreq

    antiqfreq New Egg

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    May 12, 2013
    Soperton, GA
    Hi,

    I am now a little over a year into my 3 hen coop. I was having great production from my Buff Orpington, Jersey Giant and my Silver-laced Wyandotte until a little over 2 weeks ago.

    Jersey started pulling her feathers, and then the Wyandotte, and then the Orp. I think they are done now........but I am getting about one egg every three days from all three hens total. Will that pick up soon?

    Also, I noticed that the ones I did get had thin shells so I added some oyster shell into their feed. I hope that helps.

    Thanks for any info,

    Jo
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    Jul 24, 2013
    Molting generally lasts 1-3 months, with individual feathers being regrown within 21 days. Egg production generally starts back up again about two weeks after molting, but there are exceptions. With the daylight hours decreasing (hens are stimulated to lay by light) as winter comes, a lot of birds won't come into full lay until next spring.
     
  3. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Ohio
    A full on molt usually lasts about three months, but partial ones can be shorter. Two year old hens usually lay bigger but a few less eggs after they molt so they won't hit the numbers they did as pullets. They may also be slowing down with the egg laying because of the shorter daylight hours this time of year. Are you adding light to the coop?
    Here are a couple of good links on molting.
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/217/moulting-a-natural-process
    http://www.daff.qld.gov.au/animal-industries/poultry/care-and-husbandry/moulting
     
  4. veramoomoo

    veramoomoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2013
    they should start back up here soon, or if yours are really old they might of just stopped!!!
     
  5. antiqfreq

    antiqfreq New Egg

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    May 12, 2013
    Soperton, GA
    The massive loss of feathers seen the last 2-3 weeks has slowed down. Still I see new feathers in pen daily but hut huge amounts.

    I am glad this is just molting. I picked up 2 of them and saw the new ones starting to poke thru.

    I got so used to getting eggs daily......hope they start up soon......

    They are my pets too, not just for the eggs.

    They are fun to watch, take care of and talk too.

    (ok, so I'm a little weird)

    Jo

    Oh yeah, no light is in there - we are in central Georgia
    and I was told no need for one here.... not like it snows or stuff!
     
  6. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Feb 18, 2011
    Ohio
    It sounds like they are going to be awhile before they start laying again if they are in pin feathers now. If you do not put them under lights, they may not start laying again until spring when they daylight hours are there. Chickens need about 14-16 hours of light a day to lay, heat doesn't really have anything to do with it. (Unless they are really really hot or cold and the weather makes them miserable and stressed enough to stop laying for awhile). First year pullets, and some commercial birds, usually don't need extra light in the winter, at least the first year, but after that, if you don't supplement light your egg production will really drop off. There is a catch 22 though, chickens usually have only so many eggs they will lay in their lifetime, if you supplement with light your birds will lay more in the short term, but they will not lay as well as they get older. If you don't supplement light, they won't lay as well the first couple of years, but they will lay better later on and hopefully average out. So if you plan on keeping your birds until they die, you may not want to add light so they will always lay some eggs, if you plan on replacing them every couple of years, you may want to add light to get as many eggs out of them as possible the years you have them.
     
  7. antiqfreq

    antiqfreq New Egg

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    May 12, 2013
    Soperton, GA
    It's been decided then - NO - lights for the girls.

    I can settle for less egg production so they are around longer.

    My neighbors already tell me that when I am 'ready' to replace them
    to let them know - they will take them off my hands.

    I don't name my food - so I won't consume them & they are all named !

    Jo
     
  8. louie2037

    louie2037 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 10, 2012
    Western, New York
    We haven't seen an egg in four weeks, due to molt. I tried everything offered, to no avail. I even tacked up "Chicken Recipes" up around the coop, and wrote, "think about it" on the bottom of each picture. The next day I found a photo of a human skeleton pinned to the door with the caption, "YOU think about it." Well, needless to say, it didn't work, so I guess it's just a waiting game.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
  9. louie2037

    louie2037 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 10, 2012
    Western, New York
    EGGS; WE HAVE EGGS!! Holy mackerel, I went out to feed the girls this morning and found four eggs, later this evening I found two more! Those are EXPENSIVE eggs considering the mash, cracked corn, and black sunflower seeds, pumpkins, and apples they've been eating. (Well, the apples are from the orchard, off the ground, and it was an unbelievable year for pumpkins.) None-the-less, I'm having bacon and eggs for breakfast. (Wanda was a good pig, but she's a better meal.)
     

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