Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Grandpa Dan, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. Grandpa Dan

    Grandpa Dan New Egg

    Sep 2, 2010
    Do chickens molt during their first year? My 6 month old mixed flock has stopped laying and I can't figure out why. Weather is now cooler (they layed every day during the heat of the summer), no predators, no change in layer feed, they eat all the time especially when I let them out in the evening to free range for several hours.
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    There's usually a partial most during the first year. They will also slow down as the days shorten. Commercial operations leave lights on so there is a constant number of hours of daylight, but I don't remember how many hours the chickens need to keep laying regularly. I've been seeing lots of dropped feathers around for a couple of weeks, although I don't see a change in the birds.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2010
  3. 3chimama

    3chimama Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    I believe they need 12 hours of light to lay eggs.
  4. 9 Feathers Farm

    9 Feathers Farm Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 30, 2010
    St Johns, MI
    Make sure to check the birds for parasites such as mites/lice. Parasites can stress the birds and lead to decreased egg production. I only mention this because I had a similar situation, nothing changed and I couldn't figure it out (thought they were just molting).
  5. cybercat

    cybercat Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2007
    Greeneville, Tn
    If combs are bright red they will be laying. You say you let them free range part day. Look for hidden nest outside of coop. I have had mine laying under coop, behind a table laying in the woods, in a bush next to a tree, under some old fencing that had vines growing on it. They will hide a nest and lay in it without making a sound. You will have to watch where they go to lay to find it.
  6. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Hens will slow down or stop laying if there's a sudden change in temps/weather....give them a few days to adjust and they'll pick up laying again.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by