Think I overfed and under watered my girls.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chikinraiser, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. chikinraiser

    chikinraiser Out Of The Brooder

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    I fed my 8 hens a medium-small pumpkin and an average sized spaghetti squash. When I came back in the morning both pumpkin and squash were completely hollowed. then I noticed that their waterer was empty. I washed it and got it right back into action. Not sure if it was that way the day before or not (they go through a lot more water than I expect). Now their egg production had dropped from 4-6 a day to 1-2. Will they get back into laying again or have I broken them for good?! Their has been a little temperature change and a bit of cloudiness but I wouldn't think enough to really affect them but I'm new so what do I know. All my birds are supposed to be cold hardy and we just had our first night or two at the freezing mark. Any advice will help me smooth my feathers. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Free Feather

    Free Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    I do not think they are done for good. They will get back into the swing of things once they get hydrated.
     
  3. chikinraiser

    chikinraiser Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks. They've had good steady water supply for 4 or 5 days since and still just a couple eggs a day at best. Hopefully it's just a recovery period.
     
  4. Free Feather

    Free Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Did anything else change or happen that could have stopped their laying, or are they older?
     
  5. chikinraiser

    chikinraiser Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for helping. They were new chicks this spring, so they're not old. The only other things that I can think of are the weather and temperature. We had a pretty good rain/wind storm for a couple days so it was cold dark windy and noisy for a couple days. But again that was a few days ago. They got a handful of dried while corn that ended up in the bucket with their feed. Really that's all I can think of.
     
  6. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Withdrawal of water and or feed for a little as twenty four hours can stress them enough to go into molt. It is one of the ways some commercial farmers control their molt. It is always a good idea to check the water every time you a at the coop, especially if you have only one water source. Since yours have laid a little, my guess is that they haven't been stressed enough to molt just slow down.
     
  7. chikinraiser

    chikinraiser Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! So if they do happen to go into molt how long does that last and should I heat coop to make up for feather loss? I'm in Massachusetts, temps here around freezing at night
     
  8. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With young hens molt can be over in a few weeks. If you haven't seen a lot of feathers after a few days they won't be going into a molt. I wouldn't heat the coop if they do. They are cold hardy and the colder temperatures will prompt them to grow their feathers back quicker and they won't have become accustom to the added heat.
     
  9. chikinraiser

    chikinraiser Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! Great information. Glad to have people with knowledge around!
     
  10. aldarita

    aldarita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your girls won't molt this year, they are still too young if they were born this spring. They will molt next fall. I have 6 pullets that were born in March, they all went thru their juvenile molt and were already laying eggs until recently. I only get one egg daily from the 6 of them. Funny thing, 2 or them are molting and that got me worried until I read that this happens when you mix pullets with hens in the same coop. My hens are all molting so these 2 pullets are too. They don't really know why this happens but there it is.
    I might say that the pullets molt is very light, just some feathers in their neck and some others around.
     

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