molting and egg laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Barb2, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. Barb2

    Barb2 New Egg

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    Jan 10, 2017
    My chickens just finished their first full molt. It took about a month. When will they begin to lay again.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    [​IMG] Not only are they being impacted by the molt, but the shortened day length is affecting egg production. Day light period is gradually increasing. Once it gets up to about 12 + hours of daylight per day, they will very likely all be laying again. Young birds frequently lay through their first winter, but mature birds completing a molt and also a laying cycle need a break. Be patient - they will lay again.
     
  3. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The biggest sign in my experience is when they start squatting again. It varies with every chicken. Just had one finish her molt and start laying again immediately- and have 3 others that are done with it, but might, as sourland said, waiting for the longer days. The comb can be another indicator- if they finish molting and the comb is still washed out, it's probably going to be a while. Usually hens with washed out combs also won't squat.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!

    The light can have a big effect, tho I had a couple molters come back into lay before the winter solstice.
    What you feed can have a great effect on how soon they get back to laying too.
    Layer feed is fairly low in protein and so it can take longer for those feathers to grow back in and the bird get back into condition to lay. A higher protein all flock type feed can speed things along.

    I like to feed a flock raiser/grower/finisher 20% protein crumble full time to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat. I do grind up the crumbles (in the blender) for the chicks for the first week or so.

    The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer. I adjust the amounts of other feeds to get the protein levels desired with varying situations.

    Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.
     

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