No eggs, losing feathers? Relax, it's molting time!

dancingbear

Songster
11 Years
Aug 2, 2008
2,836
40
191
South Central KY
Ok, all you guys worrying about this. It's fall. They molt. Every year. The feathers fall out. They either stop laying or slow way down. If you give them extra protein, they get through it a little faster. When the nice new shiny feathers grow in, they'll soon be back to normal.

It's a good time to clean the coop, de-bug if needed, and get everything all nice before the cold weather really sets in.

Most breeds will lay through the winter, (after molting is over) even without extra light, unless you are far enough north that they get less than 8 hours, then you might put a light on a timer, but you really don't have to have 14 hours of light to get eggs. Maybe for maximum eggs, but ya know, nature has reasons for slowing things down in the winter.

If you have broody types like I do, you may find you actually get more eggs in the winter, because you won't have half your hens out on maternity leave all the time.

If you have young pullets just getting to laying age, they may or may not molt, egg laying may be slightly delayed. Calm down. You don't need to give up and eat them. Relax, read some books about chickens, and be patient.
 

kalaim

Songster
11 Years
Jul 22, 2008
103
1
121
Thanks! I am new and my babies aren't close to laying yet, so I was wondering about all of that!

Very helpful!
 

stephen_tx

In the Brooder
11 Years
Jul 25, 2008
31
0
22
Midlothian, Texas
This post couldn't have come at a more fitting time. When I first picked up my pullets I didn't ask how old they were and someone from this board estimated them to be about 9 weeks (that was back around July 18th). So we figured they would start laying the first week in October.

Well here it is halfway through October and still no eggs, so I was out there telling the "girls" that if they don't start pulling their weight soon they would befriend some dumplings.

So I'll just relax now and wait
 
Last edited:

dancingbear

Songster
11 Years
Aug 2, 2008
2,836
40
191
South Central KY
You're welcome! I know how worrisome it can be to have something weird happening with your birds, and what a relief if you find out it's normal!
 

2boxers

Songster
11 Years
Feb 16, 2008
374
0
139
Halifax Co Virginia
A quick question...do the roos slow down their "activities/duties", too? My rir roo is either having a bout of Ed or something is wrong.

Is this normal?
 

BubbaJo

Hatching
11 Years
Aug 22, 2008
6
1
6
Thanks for this post. I was starting to freak out a bit since my two White Delawares were looking a little rough and stopped laying!
 

danamillette

Songster
11 Years
Jul 16, 2008
273
0
129
Northern Wisconsin
This is so true. I am just so excited to see an egg again. I need to calm down before I get a speeding ticket rushing home on my lunch break to check for eggs!
 

dancingbear

Songster
11 Years
Aug 2, 2008
2,836
40
191
South Central KY
Quote:That's a good question, I don't know! I have 3 young cockerels right now, they've just started crowing, and they're chasing hens all over. My 2 older roos, I sold one, and the other, my favorite, Papa, (RIP) died of natural causes about a week ago. So I'm trying to decide which of these rowdy young roos gets to live. I have a hen with 5 chicks, just getting old enough to roost, I'm sure at least 2 of those will be boys.

Maybe you should start a thread just on that, somebody's bound to know.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom