Q about pullets and daylight

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by oaklandmama, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. oaklandmama

    oaklandmama Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 20, 2011
    Oakland, CA
    I know this is probably a super newbie question, but how does it work when your chickens are not laying yet and the days are getting shorter? We have 2 White Leghorns, 2 Welsummers, 1 Maran, and 3 EEs. They're all almost 24 weeks. The Leghorns have been laying for a while but none of the rest. Does this mean the others might molt and *then* start laying? Will they lay irregularly all winter? (We live in CA so it isn't like winter is all that wintery though...) I'm getting impatient!
     
  2. top of the hill

    top of the hill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 20, 2011
    Connecticut
    funny, I was just thinking about how my hubby and I need to get electricity out to the coop soon, days are getting shorter! We plan on using a timer on our lights through out the fall / winter.

    My girls are just shy of 17 weeks and havnt started laying yet but I've been doing some research on moulting and found this on a website:

    The Pullet:

    The chick goes through one complete and three partial moults during its growth to point of lay. Generally, complete moulting occurs from 1-6 weeks of ag, and partial moulting at 7-9 weeks, 12-16 weeks and 20-22 weeks. During this final moult, the stiff tail feathers grow.

    The laying hen

    Mature birds normally undergo one complete moult a year, usually in autumn. However, this can depend on the time of the year that the bird started laying. Natural moulting usually begins sometime during March or April and should be completed by July when egg production recommences. The three main factors that bring about moulting are:

    ■physical exhaustion and fatigue
    ■completion of the laying cycle (as birds lay eggs for a certain period of time)
    ■reduction of the day length, resulting in reduced feeding time and consequent loss of body weight.

    Eleven months of continuous production is expected from pullets hatched in season. So if a flock of pullets commences laying in March at six months of age, they should continue laying until the following February, although an occasional bird may moult after laying for a few weeks. However, these few birds should begin laying again after June 22 (the shortest day of the year) and continue in production until the following autumn. Pullets coming into lay in June should lay until the following April, giving 11 months of continuous egg production without the aid of artificial light. Pullets coming into lay in spring (August) should lay well into April (nine months); however, unless artificial lighting is provided, most of them will moult during May and June.

    Hopefully this helps answer your question
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011
  3. oaklandmama

    oaklandmama Out Of The Brooder

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    0
    22
    Jul 20, 2011
    Oakland, CA
    Thanks! That is super helpful. Although... in the article it sounds like they live in the southern hemisphere, right? Was confused for a sec. [​IMG]. Im glad to hear that once they start they're likely to lay through the winter. Was starting to wonder if it would take until next spring!
     

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