Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lorii34, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. lorii34

    lorii34 Hatching

    Mar 20, 2013
    Valparaiso, Indiana
    Approximately 4 weeks ago my 8 hens were molting.All but two now, are done and beautiful!
    Since the molting I have not had 1 egg!!! There have been NO changes in routine or diet....just the molting. Before that i was getting 6-8 eggs a day. Now all i find is poop in their boxes...and a lot of it!!! Like theres a poop party going on everyday!!
    What is going on???
  2. Nupe

    Nupe Songster

    Jun 13, 2014
    A lot of times chickens will molt right before the cold weather sets in. They may not start laying again until spring unless you can give them some supplemental lighting.
  3. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    How old are your birds?
    There is disruption in production that comes with molt, and because that molt usually coincides with the onset of fall/winter the birds come out of the molt just as the hours of daylight are slipping below the optimal length to promote them going back into production, hence the winter 'layoff' often seen any birds that have completed their first laying cycle. To encourage a return to production you would need to provide lighting to make up for the lost hours of actual daylight to bring their "day" back to the length that will kick their bodies back into egg production mode.
    The poop in the boxes would indicate that they have begun to view those boxes as living/sleeping areas rather than the place to lay their eggs. A separate issue that needs to be addressed. I would suspect if you go out after "bedtime" you will find birds in the boxes - simply move them to the roost. A few nights of doing this should remind them where they sleep (and poop).
  4. lorii34

    lorii34 Hatching

    Mar 20, 2013
    Valparaiso, Indiana
    They are a year and 1/2 old. So this is their second winter. Last year they were still so young that there was no molting and they didn't lay until this past spring. I'll try the night time visits and hope that it will help! Thanks for the advice!!
  5. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    Night time visits will help them roost, but you may still require additional light to encourage a return to production.

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