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Molting and artificial lighting

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Lynnette in WI, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. Lynnette in WI

    Lynnette in WI Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 27, 2016
    I believe a few of our hens are molting. At least that's what it looks like to me. I see no lice or mites, and i don't see any pecking spots where someone is pecking at them. The black Austrolorp has been going through this since late fall. The Buff Orpington started late in November in a few areas. I had made some little aprons for them and put them on all the chickens. I was only going to keep them on for a few weeks but these two never did seem to get new feathers in, then it started getting cold so I just kept them on until just a couple weeks ago. They are eating fine, they get crumbles feed at 16% and layer feed mixed together, plus grit and oyster shells offered in their own feeders. I also give them meal worms occasionally along with some scraps.
    I have been doing artificial lighting, so they have about 13 hours of light. Does the artificial lighting stall their molting process? They are making me doubt myself on what I'm doing, what should I be doing, etc.
     
  2. Birdrain92

    Birdrain92 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to BYC! Glad you joined the flock! What times is the light set to turn on and when is it set to turn off? When is sunrise and sunset in your area? Sometimes artificial light can kick them into a molt because it's summer again. My hens molt in the summer usually late July early August.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
  3. Lynnette in WI

    Lynnette in WI Out Of The Brooder

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    I have the light turn around 6:30 am. and go off around 7:30. Sunrise is around 7:00 am. and sunset is around 6:00 pm.
     
  4. Birdrain92

    Birdrain92 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it's because you're making it as if it's the first day of spring or fall. When daylight and night time are equal. Sometimes hens will molt as daylight gets shorter. Sometimes when it's fall which could have triggered it. You would have to extend daylight longer than nighttime by a few hours. Like 6:00 pm to 8 or 9 pm. Point of artificial light is to extend light by a significant amount to make trigger part of the brain to make the hens believe it's getting warmer promoting the release of more hormones than they do in winter.
     
  5. Lynnette in WI

    Lynnette in WI Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 27, 2016
    So if i just stop doing the artificial light will that help them finish molting?
     
  6. Birdrain92

    Birdrain92 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It could actually extend it for a couple weeks. You can get them out of a molt though by jumping the protein up though. That helps them get out of a molt faster. You could but you have to wait or increase protein for a couple weeks.
     
  7. Lynnette in WI

    Lynnette in WI Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 27, 2016
    I saw where someone said about feeding them cat food. Is that dry food or wet food?
     
  8. Birdrain92

    Birdrain92 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dry. It's because cat food is high in protein.
     
  9. Lynnette in WI

    Lynnette in WI Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much! I will get some tomorrow. Do i need to grind it up or just mix it in with their other food? Sorry for all the questions!
     
  10. Birdrain92

    Birdrain92 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's fine. If it's small enough chunks they might just go for it with no problems. If so grind it up and possibly mix it in their feed if they are not eating it when it's ground up.
     

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