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My golden girls have stopped laying!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Kmed12, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. Kmed12

    Kmed12 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 1, 2013
    I have 4 gold comets, all were laying consistently, then all stopped laying approximately two weeks ago after they were moved into a new coop. Could it be the location of the coop, or the winter approaching that has caused them to stop laying? I would love some advice.
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    It could be a combination of the two factors. A move to a new location is often stressful enough for them that they stop laying until they've adjusted to their new surroundings. Plus, with winter coming on, the days are shorter so laying becomes less consistent. Also, if they are a year old or more, they might have stopped to molt.
     
  3. Kmed12

    Kmed12 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 1, 2013
    What does the molting process entail? How can I tell if they are molting?
     
  4. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    7,544
    172
    316
    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Molting is when they lose this year's coat of feathers and replace it with a brand new coat to get them through the next year. It varies from bird to bird and even from year to year. I've had birds that did such a slow molt you could barely tell it was happening. A hard molt can leave them looking pretty pathetic. I wish now that I had taken photos of one of my hens a few weeks ago. She went from looking normal one day to looking like she'd been plucked ready for the roaster, the next. I was so sure a predator had got at her that I picked her up to examine her all over, but found no wounds, and she didn't seem stressed at all. Finally it dawned on me that she had molted her entire coat overnight.

    Even if they are in a slow molt, you may see a lot of feathers in the coop and surrounds, making it look like someone had a pillow fight when you weren't looking.

    It can take up to 6-8 weeks for them to regrow their feather coat, during which time they won't lay eggs. This is an important time for them to take a rest from laying - growing new feathers is a highly intensive process that uses a lot of protein so they won't have any reserves left over to produce eggs.
     

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