IS THIS NORMAL????

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sallihennipenni, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. sallihennipenni

    sallihennipenni Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 6, 2011
    Central Illinois
    Our 12 hens are going through the 1 1/2 year molt. They've been going through it for what seems like FOREVER now!! (Actually, about 2 1/2 to 3 months). We are getting 1 egg a day. If we're lucky, we get 2. Sometimes none. The girls look ok, except for 2 hens who are looking pretty shaggy. We have feathers everywhere though, so I'm assuming they're all, or most all of them are still molting? Is this low level of egg production normal??? I expected their production to drop off a little, but not go away entirely! We free range our hens during the day and lately they've been spending most of their daylight hours in a large berry patch. I'm suspicious that they possibly are laying in the berry patch. I've tried looking for eggs in there a couple of times and haven't seen any, but it's a very "thorny" place and hard to move around. I hope to get a response from some of you who have had hens go through this molt and tell me if we should be seeing more eggs from them and just give it more time, or if we should check that berry patch more thoroughly!
     
  2. vonchick

    vonchick Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2010
    Madison, Florida
    We're going through exactly what you are - without the berry patch :) We're into about week 10 of the molt and getting 2 eggs a day max from 12 hens.
     
  3. sallihennipenni

    sallihennipenni Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 6, 2011
    Central Illinois
    Well, as the saying goes, "misery loves company"....it's nice to know I'm not alone Thanks for the reply Vonchick.
     
  4. Who922

    Who922 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2011
    Roswell, NM
    I was hoping it wasn't normal!! I am 2 months in as well. I am finally getting 3 eggs a day from 20 hens!! For a while it was 2 eggs every 3 days!! So, I'm guessing this is normal behavior. Can someone come along and give us a time frame?
     
  5. Pipermom

    Pipermom New Egg

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    Nov 5, 2012
    OK, my hens are not unique; whew! I am down to 5 hens who are finishing a very protracted molt. We were getting an average of 4 eggs/day from the girls and are now getting 1 on a good day. We did have babies back in July ~ our broody hen did it all by herself! ~ and we had them in a tractor right next to the grown-up pen. I still can't figure out if the sudden drop in egg production was due to regrowing feathers or some weird hormonal response to having 3 babies in view all the time. Of course with the rapid decline in daylight around here lately that isn't helping either. I've thought about going with lights in the house area. (My Dad's tried and true method is to prop an axe up by the hen house door and explain to the girls their fate if they don't get busy [​IMG]). But I have about decided to just hang in there and be patient and see what happens in another couple of months. Still, I do resent having to BUY eggs at the grocery store while buying corn and laying pellets at the feed store!
     
  6. CluckCluck18

    CluckCluck18 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2010
    Largo, FL
    Whew! I feel better now.....my girls are the same. Getting 2 eggs a day from 10 for almost three months. Most everyone looks OK but there are feathers everywhere and the yard looks like there was a giant pillow fight! One of my girls is almost totally bald...poor thing. Sorry to hear it's happening to others but relieved that it's not just me. I love them alot but would love them a whole lot more if I didn't have to buy eggs from the store! [​IMG]
     
  7. GardenSimply

    GardenSimply Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 14, 2012
    Oklahoma, US
    Well, I can second the axe idea, my grandfather had very little patience for waiting this out. LOL I have found the change of season curious this year. We all know to expect a decline in egg production during certain times, but the "here today, gone tomorrow" abruptness of it was unusual. We went from averaging 18 eggs a day to 6 a day, over the course of three days. I agree, to have to resort to buying eggs is a total bummer.

    And the eggs at WholeFoods are 5.99 a dozen! Well, as I pause and think about it, ours are costing almost that much with the cost of organic feed, particularly. I know for our part, we refuse to include the added cost of electrical lighting to the list... so I suppose we will just wait it out. Thank you for sharing, I also thought we were experiencing something unique. Nice to know this is not abby normal on the experience scale.
     
  8. Smoochie

    Smoochie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 18, 2012
    CANADA
    Spring = eggs. Lighting is really important. You need to start this before the moult next year to trick them into thinking the season remains right for reproduction. However... Do you have enough artificial light? You need one 60 watt incandescent bulb or 15-watt compact fluorescent, 7 ft (0.2m) above the floor FOR around 200 square feet. Place light above feeders away from nesting area. You need a timer & your hens need 15 hours of constant light a day ( but also need 6-8 hours of dark rest). If eggs are important I would stop free-ranging...
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. GardenSimply

    GardenSimply Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 14, 2012
    Oklahoma, US
    Smoochie, I scoured the property and found nothing. After that, we confined the birds to about half and acre of fenced area, plenty of space to spread out and scratch, but all flat with no hiding places for laying. Part of the area is a section we will be adding to the garden in spring, so I wanted them to get it dug out anyway. The weird thing is, they go in and sit off and on through the day, they just don't lay.

    We have opted to let them rest, no artificial light. We just aren't going to eat as many eggs and my friends I share with will have to fend for themselves for a while. ;)
     
  10. livelifebyluck

    livelifebyluck Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 14, 2012
    North Carolina
    I'm a newbie to chickens (haven't gotten them yet) and we have a pretty good size backyard. I'm wondering what some pros and cons to free ranging? I am thinking about doing it but I'd like some more opinions.
     

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