Molt started? Will laying return?

Mike_g

Chirping
Apr 14, 2020
24
35
56
NE South Dakota
Hi y'all. We currently have a mixed flock of golden comets, Jersey Giants, and barred rocks. We bought them at the end of May, 2020. They began laying that fall, and continued thru winter with supplemental lighting.

Laying has been below average the past month or so. I realized I forgot supplemental light, and turned it on a couple weeks ago. They slowed way down,laying 2 eggs over the past two days, with 24 hens.

I'm assuming they are molting. I think I'll shut off supplemental light for a while, and bring it back when they start laying again.

What do you think? Are they totally done laying at this point? They are about 1.5 years old.
 

Offshoreorca

Whale Whisperer
Premium Feather Member
Apr 15, 2020
1,284
5,119
396
Nova Scotia
My Coop
My Coop
Goodness no, they aren't done. Most heritage breeds will lay very well in their second year (and we have four/five year olds that are still producing decently). Hybrids meant for laying often drop in production their second year, but not to nothing.

We don't use supplemental lighting and normally have egg production being to ramp up around the winter solstice when the days begin to lengthen. It will start slowly and then ramp up. Usually we have a fair amount of eggs by mid/late January and it only increases from there.
 

Sally PB

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
9,283
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Belding, MI
Some birds will lay through their first winter. But by their second winter, around 1.5 years, they're probably going to take a break to molt.

I would leave the light off and let then take a break. They'll likely start again when the days are longer.
 

Mike_g

Chirping
Apr 14, 2020
24
35
56
NE South Dakota
Thanks, that's helpful. I shut off supplemental lighting, and gave them some Old Roy dogfood in addition to their layer feed, for a bit more protein.
 

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