moulting & egg laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by susansteve, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. susansteve

    susansteve New Egg

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    [​IMG] Woe woe woe is me!!!!!
    We had 26 hens laying 20 to 25 eggs between them. We were getting on pretty well, a little treat of kitchen scraps at tea time to say thankyou but now.
    They have started moulting and egg laying is down to 6 or 7.
    Of course the little treats have stopped, I can be as stubborn as they are.
    What can I do to get them back on form.
    Sue the old mother hen:/
     
  2. luvzmybabz

    luvzmybabz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    my 2 best hens are in moult and have been laying regularly until the last couple of days the feathers are starting to grow back in and I am fine with them not laying a lot of people say that they will have a longer moult if they keep laying as they need the nutrients to either lay or grow feathers.
     
  3. Half-a-dozen

    Half-a-dozen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    NJ
    Sorry I don't have an answer to your question but if I may interrupt to ask a question, as I think I am starting to see these signs. My girls are almost 12 months now and loosing a lot of feathers around the bas of their tail feathers or could this just be from a Roo on them???

    How long before chickens have their first molt???
    and do they molt consistently thereafter???

    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  4. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    Your moulting hens won't lay until their moult is over.
     
  5. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    This is normal. They don't control their egg laying to spite you. When they molt it takes every bit of protein they can muster to grow back their feathers and get their body into egg laying shape. I would not stop giving them treats. In fact I would give them a handful of dry cat food every day. I would also cook them boiled eggs and mix it with cooked white rice and yogurt to help them get over the hump and back to laying.
     
  6. Ma

    Ma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Black Oil Sunflower seeds are also a great treat that they adore, and are chock full of protein.

    My girls, and Roo, get them everyday, even when not moulting.

    I have 9 birds, and give them a cupful+ everyday.
     
  7. Jajika

    Jajika Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is interesting to hear about moulting from other parts of the country.

    I'm in Northern California. It seemed that everyone on this board was talking about the really hard moult we went through late last fall. It was the worst I'd every seen.

    Not only did my girls go almost bald, but they were so cranky I could barely get through their yard without a peck or two on my legs.

    Those sharp shafts piercing the skin is painful. And, yes, they need all the energy they can get to build and grow new feathers. Now is the time they need the most TLC you have. Not punishment.

    Cat good, sunflower seeds, fresh veggies and maybe buy them some juicy worms as well.

    This is not fun for them.

    Geri in Northern California
     
  8. Half-a-dozen

    Half-a-dozen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    NJ
    Jajika, you mentioned cat food what kind. Is that dry or in a can. and is there a certain flavor e.g. plain, original??? (I don't have a cat:| ) Is there a type not to give?
    Thanks
     
  9. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    You can give either. Dry food is more like scratch and they will peck around and keep busy with it. When a chicken needs a quick boost I give wet. Just becareful and don't over do it. Cat food is made for cats not chickens. You don't want to get their mineral and vit intake off kilter.
     
  10. Jajika

    Jajika Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi CGRN:

    I give my girls canned. A small can of Mixed Grill, which is Kalcan I think?

    That is the only flavor they seem to like. I give a small can once every three months or so.

    It is a huge treat and a big protein boost. However, the board is correct. Not too much, and not too often. It could damage their kidneys as cat food is high in proteins and fats.

    A little is good. Too much is bad.

    My chickens "free range" in a fenced in area in my orchard. Lots of trees and shrubs for them to peck at, bounce on and generally hang out. They love crawling under bushes to find bugs. I have two coops within the yard, so they have shelter when they want it.

    All that is to say they eat a lot of natural protein in addition to the laying crumble, flax seed, scratch and oyster shell, which they may not need.

    Keeping them healthy is always a challenge, even under the best of circumstances.

    I miss some of my sweeties as well. I couldn't protect them from something they ate or the heat.

    Ugh:(
     

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