Still molting?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Red1, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. Red1

    Red1 New Egg

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    Nov 19, 2013
    Our Americana is close to 2 years old. Around the end of July she started the molting process - feathers were everywhere for several weeks and she stopped producing all together. It has now been close to 4 months and I am not finding any loose feathers in the yard and have not been for about a month now yet she still is not producing. Could she still be molting or is it possible her lack of laying is the result of something else? Surely she isn't done for life right?!?

    We also have a Production Red who is still laying. Both hens seem to be happy, no major changes or stresses.
     
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, molting can take awhile, sure. Mine will not lay again until next spring because I don't provide supplemental lighting during the winter. So, once mine start molting, it's no more eggs until the spring.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    With many breeds / birds, the laying following a molt does not resume until photoperiod starts to lengthen again. If you stress them like I do then they wait for temperature to increase as well. If practical, consider giving them a little supplemental light to push them back into egg production. Watch their nutritional needs if doing so especially when temperature is low. Laying eggs, staying warm, and molt are activities that can cause conflict over allocation of nutritional resources.
     
  4. nipper75

    nipper75 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think I'm experiencing the same... I have 2 hens that are around 2 1/2 years old. Starting a molt at the end of summer.... Stopped laying.... and are still not laying... What puzzles me is that they won't leave the coop anymore... I just don't know what to do.
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Once they feather back in, it does take a while for them to get their body weight back up. Once they have their weight to a healthy level, then they can resume laying.

    How is her comb looking? Is it still pale and shriveled? Or is it turning bright red again?
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    No it’s extremely unlikely she’s done for life at that age. She’ll come back strong and her eggs will be larger when she cranks up again. Some fast molters seem to be over it in a month or so. Some slow molters can take five months. Most are somewhere in between.

    Like the others said there are several different things that can influence when she starts to lay again, light, temperature, and nutrition being some. Some hens will start to lay when the molt is done even without lights but others wait for spring. I’ve had both.

    If you provide lights, don’t get too impatient. A hen has to make some pretty significant changes to her internal egg making factory to go from totally shut down to ready to lay. Ova have to change into yolks and her she needs to work on her plumbing. Some people get results pretty quickly with lights but that hen was probably already in the process but needed the lights to get her over the edge. Others can take several weeks, maybe a full month.
     
  7. nipper75

    nipper75 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They look good. Feathers came in nice and they're eating...Just won't come out of the coop.... Not too worried about egg laying.
     
  8. Red1

    Red1 New Egg

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    Nov 19, 2013
    Her feathers are gorgeous...she never really got any bald spots so I am having a hard time figuring out whether or not the new feathers have all come in (especially towards her back side). I did feel on her underbelly quite a few shafts.

    Now that you mention the comb - it is still pale and shriveled. I have a picture from last spring and it was definitely more red than it is now. I guess that is also an indicator she's still in the molting phase?

    I've been reading that she should probably get more protein in her diet during this time - I will definitely try and up her intake. She is the more docile one so often times if I bring out any sort of treats the Red one hogs it all (even when I try and split them up).
     
  9. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, you can tell a lot from looking at their combs. If it's still pale and shriveled, she's not finished with her molt yet. When it turns bright again, she's close to laying again. A hen that is laying has a bright, red comb. A hen that is not laying has a pale comb.
     
  10. Red1

    Red1 New Egg

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    Well, it is a Christmas miracle! After 4 long months she finally laid today!!! I can't believe it. I will savor that egg for sure! Thanks for all the comments:)
     

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