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#78845 - 07/31/03 10:55 AM Moulting and eggs?
Spotted Crow Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/24/03
Posts: 855
Loc: Massachusetts
Tom will be 5 months old in October. She should be laying eggs by then, I suppose. But won't she still be getting her adult feathers in? If she moults, she won't lay, am I correct? Would she not lay over the winter anyhow, because the days are too short? confused
Thanks in advance, B

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#78846 - 07/31/03 01:11 PM Re: Moulting and eggs?
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
She will not likely molt this year but should molt next fall. Some hens lay right through winter while others dont. You can add lighting to extend thier day and get more eggs. Look for winter lighting in the poultry managment section for more info on that.

Bill

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#78847 - 07/31/03 03:57 PM Re: Moulting and eggs?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Personally, I would try to keep her from laying through the winter just for her first year. This will allow her to put on some extra weight and size, giving you in turn larger eggs.

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#78848 - 08/02/03 11:17 AM Re: Moulting and eggs?
Spotted Crow Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/24/03
Posts: 855
Loc: Massachusetts
How would you stop her from laying? She's already moulting her baby feathers, also.

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#78849 - 08/02/03 12:14 PM Re: Moulting and eggs?
Rob2 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 03/28/03
Posts: 3068
Loc: Pennsylvania
Well now there is a question I have never seen before; nor ever given any thought to If a hen is laying eggs, more than likely she is in good health and concern is probably unwarranted.

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#78850 - 08/02/03 03:14 PM Re: Moulting and eggs?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Well, you can't stop her from laying if she wants to. You can however do things to help her think she doesn't want to lay. Don't exend daylight hours with a white light in the coop at night. Put her in the coop before the day is over while daylight is still long. Don't feed a layer ration at 20 weeks as the added calcium helps promote egg laying. Winter is probably the best suppressor of eggs, so if you can get her to hold off till then, you shouldn't have an egg until spring. It may sound strange trying to stop egg production/breeding, but in many animals it has been shown to produce a healthier female (dogs, cats, fish, snakes, frogs, rodents, etc.).

My first chickens were production blacks. They started laying at a little over 3 months. They weren't fully filled out when they started, and never did fill out completely, despite actions I took (feeding a higher protein feed, not allowing free range, etc.). They were probably the best layers I have ever had, but it burned them out. I had started with 6 hens. After only 4 years, I only have one left. She is still very light. All of my other chickens are nice and full bodied. Since then, I try to hold off laying until they are older. Of course, many people never have any problems with early laying, but I did.

Just my take on it.

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#78851 - 08/02/03 06:27 PM Re: Moulting and eggs?
CJR Offline
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
The "production" birds, which have various names by the originators, (Sex Links, Red Star, Black Star, many others) are bred to produce eggs for only about one year, that is all. No amount of feed options on your part will make significant change what is bred in. For longer laying hens--but not as many eggs in a year, some of the old breeds are very good and longer lived, ei, New Hampshire Reds, Barred Plymouth Rocks, Black Minorcas, Rhode Island Reds, others. Some of these breeds are not bred to be setters (although some will set), so most will not be interrupted by those duties, but remember, if they have that 8-9 week rest in between broods, they will likely live and produce a lot of eggs for more years. You takes your choice.

Pullets that begin to lay at 4 mos or a little more, will be growing a few more adult feathers, and if well fed, will continue to mature even while making a few smallish eggs to get started. If kept without cockerels, they will grow better, as they can concentrate on eating right and not on evading the cockerels. Their last baby moult is kind of gradual, with some feathers moulting and new ones already in on some parts of the body, in adult phase. Mother nature has programed these birds. Fall pullets will usually lay on schedule and with little interruption, all through their first laying sessions, even without additional light. It is the early Spring hatched birds that have been laying all summer and will need lights to keep them laying in the short days of winter--if you want them to.

Lots of factors are involved in the dependable production of eggs--- Breed, strain of breed, time of year of hatch, quality of feed and housing and management, number of birds in the flock, weather and temperature, health of the flock. My bantams lay all year, with lights, regardless of what time of year they hatch--as I hatch almost every month--and they start to lay at about 4 1/2 months, small eggs that I do not hatch, but they are fine eating. But everyone has different ways of doing things--and egg production depends on what works best with your birds and in your location! CJR

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#78852 - 08/03/03 06:25 AM Re: Moulting and eggs?
Spotted Crow Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/24/03
Posts: 855
Loc: Massachusetts
CJR,
She's an Ameracauna and she and her littermate, Jerry ( a black and white Leghorn cross) were hatched on May 27th. We live in Massachusetts so winters can be cold, and sometimes very snowy. If I was her, I wouldn't lay til spring... laugh

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#78853 - 08/03/03 08:36 AM Re: Moulting and eggs?
CJR Offline
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
Spotted Crow, Well, she just doesn't have the choice. But heavier breeds, such as yours is related to, may not start to lay as early as 5 mos., but she has some early laying breeding there, too--so you will not know until she starts "singing", which could be from October on. . . Singing begins several weeks before the first egg. And if you have not heard it, it will be a different voice that you will notice. If shes does start laying late fall, eggs will be small for a while, and she may really not get going with production until spring. But be assured, when she is mature enough, she will lay! Good luck, CJR

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#78854 - 08/06/03 01:42 AM Re: Moulting and eggs?
Anonymous
Unregistered


I've never heard of a chook laying and molting at the same time. However she may surprise you. My chick's adult feathers popped up so quick, and only just before she was mature.
See ya! smile smile smile

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