Several questions for experienced peeps

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Amyh, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. Amyh

    Amyh Songster

    Jul 11, 2010
    North Carolina
    I have five chickens of laying age, but have not been getting many eggs at all. They seem to be molting, the bottom of their backs look raggedy and are missing feathers and some of them are bald on their bellies.

    Two of the bald belly girls have gone broody recently. Do molting chickens go broody? It seems kind of odd being that they don't lay well during this time, but I wanted to ask to make sure we don't have a problem other than molting.

    Also, does the egg production slow dramatically during molt? I was out of town for 4 nights and came back to only 4 eggs, 2 of them from my EE that is also molting. I'm worried I have an egg eater instead of low production, but I can't be sure, there is no evidence of egg eating at all. It's just odd to get so few eggs for so many days.

    Can someone give me some guidance?
  2. Terri O

    Terri O Songster

    A heavy molt will definitely slow egg production. Also it is the time of year when they might need additional light to lay. (Especially in the second year) I have a light go on in my coop in early morning so the girls have at least 16 hours of light. Keeps them laying right through winter! HTH--Terri O
  3. Farm_Maven

    Farm_Maven Songster

    May 7, 2011
    The two broodies have more than likely pulled their belly feathers out get better contact with the eggs for warmth. Molting chickens rarely lay eggs. You may want to feed some extra protein to help the ones molting regrow feathers.
  4. sherylreno

    sherylreno Songster

    May 13, 2011
    Reno, Nevada
    This is the time of year laying hens will molt and egg production goes down to almost nil. Also keep in mind now that there is less sun light during the day makes chickens lay less as well or possibly not at all. All sounds normal but I would check for mites/lice as well because this is also a sign of them too but most likely it's them just molting.

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