How lonig before they start to lay eggs again?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Allouchja, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. Allouchja

    Allouchja New Egg

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    Aug 28, 2013
    My hens were just starting to lay eggs, then the days started getting shorter and they stopped laying. So, after about a week of this we put a 60 watt lite bulb on a timer in the coop. We timed it for about 14 hours before sunset. How long before they start laying? They were born last spring. If they are molting, how long before they start laying again? PS I'm a newbee, can you tell? Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Having gone through this ordeal every year for six years, I can tell you that your girls will begin laying again come January if you live in the northern hemisphere.

    Curiously, I used to provide supplemental light during the winter to promote laying, and last year I decided not to. Interestingly, I found that they began laying in January and laid exactly the same from then on as they had previously with the additional lighting. In other words, it appeared to make little or no difference without the extra light.

    And I saved on my light bill.
     
  3. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    If you just turned on the light, it could take a few weeks. I've used lights for 20 years & after molt is over the chickens lay well and do not wait until January! Running a 40 watt bulb, 4 hours a day costs less than $1 a month, so the light bill is not a real concern.
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    One reason not to use the extra light before they complete molt is that laying on top of building a new feather supply is a real drain on their energy reserves and might lower their resistance to disease. It's not a given threat, but something you do need to consider. That's the main reason I quit using added light during molt.

    But, yes, it doesn't take very many watts to stimulate laying. I even used a red party light, trying to get them to quit waking up at 2 am and trashing the place.
     
  5. Allouchja

    Allouchja New Egg

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    So how long does molting take?
     
  6. Allouchja

    Allouchja New Egg

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    Aug 28, 2013
    Thank you for the info
     
  7. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    Point taken, however I have never had all my chickens molt at the same time & so the lights benefit those still laying while the others molt. I light from August 15th to May 15th, something I was told 20 years ago. It has worked, they have always molted when they should & I have never had a problem with disease. I know it could happen at any time, as all chickens are different. I only had one year with no eggs, went the entire month of September without eggs in new pullets, as I failed to start lighting in August. Could have been a coincidence, so who knows!
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I concede that adding extra light during molting, which can take from a month to year depending on the individual, probably does little or no harm.

    I have nineteen hens, and after observing the wide range of difficulty/ease they endure to molt, I prefer to err on the side of caution and not add extra light in the event it could stimulate a hen who may be having a difficult molt into laying before her body is up for it.

    Twice now over a six year period, I've had hens who got stuck in an extended molt, and I could see how stressed out they seemed to be. Other hens can molt intensely hard and get it all done in a month and then move on and begin laying again with no additional encouragement. Others, depending on the breed, lay right through molt with no apparent ill effects.

    It's your individual choice for your flock to add light during the winter months or not. The rest of us are sharing why we add light or not so more information can be had by those trying to make this choice.
     

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