Question about laying during moult

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by krista74, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Victoria, Australia.
    Hi all [​IMG]

    5 out of my 8 laying hens as well as my Rooster are currently going through their moult. They are around 16 months old and it is their first, as well as my first experience of the moult too. The volume of feathers in the coop and run is nothing like I could ever have imagined - it is quite literally a carpet of feathers. The hens in question seem to have blown out the majority of their feathers - this is not a light moult!

    That being said, they seem to be coping quite well. Three of them now have no tail feathers (including the roo - how embarrassing!) and all of them have bald patches, thinning patches, and little crops of pin feathers coming through. They are eating ok, but are a little quieter than usual which I guess is to be expected. Mating has also declined somewhat - although not completely.

    My question is in regard to egg laying. We had around 3 weeks of literally no eggs from the moulting hens. Now though, even though their feathers are still very sparse, they seem to be coming back into lay! They are RIR's - and have been excellent layers so far. It's just that they are so rough-looking I really didn't expect to see any eggs for ages.

    So, how common is it for moulting hens to lay eggs? And does a heavy moult indicate they will return to lay sooner than a light moulting hen would?

    - Krista
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Huh, interesting. All those feathers are amazing aren't they, SMH.

    I think that some birds are more likely to lay sooner after molt than others, just individual makeup<shrugs>.
    I'm sure you're feeding them very well and that may be the difference.
     
  3. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    They are still getting their layer's crumble - I'm not able to get any higher protein crumbles at the moment. To dilute their diet a bit (reduce the calcium and increase protein) I have started adding a good dose of wheat each day, and a serve of meat (usually bacon) every morning as well. They also get some vegie scraps (cucumber, lettuce, cabbage) each day and they seem happy enough.

    It's just amazing to me that they can lay like that though! It's like "Oh I feel awful, no eggs for you......oh wait, I'm ok....Here, have an egg!" They are such little troopers!

    - Krista
     

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