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Question about molting

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kuhnse51, Nov 11, 2015.

  1. kuhnse51

    kuhnse51 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 12 hens that are just over a year old and going through their first molt. I also have 13 pullets in with them who are 8 months old. Since the older ones began molting egg production has decreased drastically to only 3 or 4 eggs a day. I was getting 15-18 eggs a day before. I know when they molt egg production decreases but why have my younger chickens stopped laying also? The younger ones lay blue and olive eggs so I can tell they aren't laying. Is it just because of the shorter days? I swear one of the younger chickens has patchy spots that looks like she's going through a soft molt but aren't they too young to molt?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Some pullets will skip the molt their first fall/winter and continue laying all winter. Some don’t skip the molt. Heredity has a fair amount do with that, pure luck part of it. The earlier they start to lay in the summer the more likely they are to molt.
     
  3. kuhnse51

    kuhnse51 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh okay thanks! Hopefully it's a quick molt lol
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Some first year birds will lay all winter, some will slow down or stop altogether....molt or not.
    Do you free range?

    I use supplemental lighting to keep them all laying...... unless they're molting.
     
  5. kuhnse51

    kuhnse51 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I let them free range when I'm home, usually on weekends. By the time I get home from work during the week now they're already roosted up for the night. I've been contemplating getting a timer for the light I have in the coop but I'm not sure if it would be a good thing to do
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    A little late for supplemental lighting, IMO, best to start ramping it up in late Aug/early Sept.
    But read up on it for next year.
    Here's a pretty good article on supplemental lighting.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. kuhnse51

    kuhnse51 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks aart!
     

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