Molting & Lighting

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Dirty Dozen, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. Dirty Dozen

    Dirty Dozen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Haven't gotten an egg in ages. Thinking of turning some lights on to make days longer. What will happen to my chickens that are mid molt? Thanx!
     
  2. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

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    I don't think extra light will affect their molt. I'm adding a couple hours extra light each day just because it gets dark so early here. I'm not getting as many eggs as I did in late summer - but I'm averaging about 3 or 4 each day from 7 hens. I have two that haven't laid an egg in over a month, though. Good luck!
     
  3. six_eclectic_chickens

    six_eclectic_chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Noooo! [​IMG] Chickens only lay a certain amount of eggs. If you make them lay year round then they will stop early in the end.
     
  4. BetterHensandGardens

    BetterHensandGardens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Shortening day length is what triggers molting in chickens. Once they start molting, egg production quits or slows down significantly - depending on the breed. So, if they are already molting, adding light now won't do much - they'll need to finish molting before they have the nutritional stores to start making significant amounts of eggs again. There's a blog post on the subject here: http://www.betterhensandgardens.com/molting-chickens/
     
  5. If you are wanting to get them back laying (though the nature of things is to slow down/stop laying and molt) in these winter months you can do the following. Results will very.

    1) Give them a HIGH protein diet (fish, chick starter, canned tuna, mealworms, maybe even some cat food, scrambled eggs ect.). This is the most important part. You may notice that during their molt they will be eating their feathers. That's because they want more protein. Feathers are protein. Gross, I know!
    2) Give them some extra day light via putting light in their coop.

    Or another option is to forgo all of the above and let them get through their molt on their own and let nature take it's course.
     
  6. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

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    Go ahead give them extra light they will complete their moult. feed a good layer. 16 hr of light will getting them laying.

    Far as a chicken only lay so many eggs in a life time.....true ,but are you planning on keeping them around 7 + years. Some do , myself I never had any layers over 21/2 yr old ,that when they go in the pot. at that age they eat the same but lay about half the eggs.

    feed 10 young hens/pullets or feed 20 old hens = same number of eggs.


    Depend on what you want eggs or pets.
     
  7. Dirty Dozen

    Dirty Dozen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanx...I'll wait for spring!
     
  8. six_eclectic_chickens

    six_eclectic_chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Ya [​IMG] We chose pets too [​IMG]
     

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