Inducing(?) Molt

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Obsessive, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. Obsessive

    Obsessive Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 31, 2008
    One word: HOW?

    a few of em are slowly molting, and i'm not getting ANYWHERE near the egg I should and I think this'll help. (right?)

    so what can I do?

    I have about 100 chcikens so I don't think I can just coop em in the dark or anything. [​IMG]

    So One word: HELP [​IMG]
     
  2. wombat

    wombat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2009
    Cut back on the feeding levels and protein for a few weeks, and reduce the amount of daylight.

    Here's an explanation of commercial forced molt:
    http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/poulsci/tech_manuals/induced_molting_commercial.html

    I couldn't see reducing feed for my hens to get them to lose 30% of body weight in a few weeks like that link mentions, though. I have simply reduced rations to go with the reduced natural daylight/reduced activity, and cut the proteins down a bit by adding corn/scratch grains. When they are coming out of molt, I have been feeding small amounts of canned cat foot, though on SpeckledHen's recommendation, I'm going to try canned salmon instead.
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Truthfully, I wonder how many birds actually die from being starved during a molt? Their bodies are so taxed trying to grow in new feathers, that they lose weight anyway, even when they have extra food and nutrition! And in my experience, sometimes their crops stop working (lost two that way) during a hard molt and they never recover. Remember that commercial operations cull their layers at the first molt or at two years, depending on their policy, in order to keep egg production high, so they really wouldn't care if some died from a forced molt.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I wouldn't do it myself, the whole point is that it 'works' by being extremely stressful on their bodies (can't be highly pleasant for their minds either)... if I didn't mind that sort of thing I would just buy commercially produced eggs and be done with it. Just as tomatoes are not necessarily meant to be abundant year-round, even *eggs* get to have an off season, IMHO. (Unless you are in business selling eggs, but with those breeds that is apparently not the case)

    What if any supplemental lighting are you providing, and when did you start it, because tis also the season for THAT kind of reduction in laying.

    Next year, save up surplus eggs from earlier in the season (they freeze fine, broken not in shell, for use as an ingredient although they will be no good for over-easy). Also if you are really serious about this you can cull the individuals that are having the slowest molts, as being a poor investment.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     

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