Molting time

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Rockeacres Farm, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. Rockeacres Farm

    Rockeacres Farm New Egg

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    Sep 19, 2012
    OK, I'm new to this chicken thing! We have been in the Beef business for 32 years and since my 3 back surgeries, I can't go to the barn anymore. So, I have hens. Could they be moulting right now? They are just a little over l year old. My egg production is down 80%. Help me out here, please!
     
  2. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    May 11, 2011
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    If they're molting, you should be seeing a whole lot more feathers around than usual and the culprits may be looking a bit ratty around the edges (depending on how hard they're molting).

    However, you also have daylight to contend with right now. Unless you add artificial lighting to increase "daylight" hours to 14+, they will start to taper off in their laying as daylight decreases. Some may even stop entirely through winter.
     
  3. Rockeacres Farm

    Rockeacres Farm New Egg

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    Sep 19, 2012
    We have artificial light on at all times. The water is fresh every 2 days and we are feeding a lay crumble. I've been thinking of going back to the lay mash and see if there is a difference. I find that they don't waste as much crumble feed as they do mash. But, if that is the reason I will gladly go back to a mash. Could this be an issue. The black sex links seem to be loosing quite a few feathers, but I don't see any from the Red sex links or the Barred Rocks.
     
  4. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    May 11, 2011
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    If the food is the same content, then the form (mash/crumble/pellets) won't matter. If they've got light, then it's probably molt time. Some blow feathers heavier than others and some quit laying for months as a result; depends on how hard they molt.
     
  5. Rockeacres Farm

    Rockeacres Farm New Egg

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    Sep 19, 2012
    I guess that part of the hens are out of moult. I'm getting 10 to 12 eggs a day now and the egg pecking problem has been corrected. I ordered some new chicks from a hatchery and while I had them on the phone I asked what else I could do to stop them from pecking the eggs. She told me that they were bored and needed some shiny toys. So I put in a mirror for them to look in and hung up some aluminum small pie plates in front of the nesting boxes. Wow, it really worked. Thanks for all of your suggestions. I really do appreciate the help.
     

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