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Waiting for Eggs After a Molt

31 December 2011

Hens rush to the feeder in the mornings.

It’s the last day of the year and I’m up before dawn in anticipation of a visit from my eldest son and his “lady friend”. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia, so we’re lucky to see him here on the West Coast once a year. My refrigerator is full to capacity and I’ve prepared about 8 meals ahead of time so I can relax and enjoy their company. I hope they will have time for “a visit with the hens”. People with little experience handling poultry, get a kick out of an up close encounter with these fascinating creatures.

The hens in November and December have produced very few eggs. They have all molted at the same this year. First to molt was Poppy, the Silver-laced Wyandotte. She stopped laying for about six weeks. Poppy is a pretty consistent layer, giving us an egg every other day. Daisy was next to molt, then Tulip, then Sweetpea. They say that the better layers molt more quickly and resume laying in a shorter amount of time. That seems to be the case in my backyard henhouse. Daisy, the Buff Orpington, is back to laying every day after a six-week molt. She is my best layer. Sweetpea should be next.

As my girls age (they will be three years old in the spring) I will seriously have to consider adding to the flock. I’d like to add a couple of Buff Orpington pullets. Not sure how the “old gals” will take to that. Adding to any flock can be a touchy thing and these girls are “set in their ways”.

Wishing all my chicken loving friends a “Happy New Year”. May abundance and love fill your lives and may you always have a soft featherbed on which to fall.

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6 Comments to “Waiting for Eggs After a Molt”

  1. Just an FYI. I recently added 2 older gals to my flock. I adopted them from a bird rescue here in Idaho. I separated them for a few days, but because they seemed ok and my chickens free range, I allowed them to be together. They did great except my Columbian Rock, Miss Clucks-a-lot. She had to surrender from top of the pecking order to 2nd place. Pumpkin, one I adopted, had to surrender to her and sometimes will still get an evil eye or a quick chase. I was worried, but all went well and I love having 6 girls. Maybe because they are EE’s except for Miss Clucks-a-lot. I did a lot of research and the gal I adopted Pumpkin and Pecan from helped. They act like they have been together their entire life!

  2. Love reading about your birds, they’re such beautiful girls too. Happy New Year!

  3. Tiffany Hernandez

    Happy New Year to you and your family, and the girls!! We love following them!

  4. It’s encouraging to hear that you had no trouble adding to your flock. I’ll have to face the fact that my girls are past their prime and I need to add a couple of younger “chicks” to my flock. I’d like a couple of buff orpingtons. Not as strickingly beautiful as many others, but oh, so, sweet! Thanks for sharing your experience.

  5. Happy New Years, Lee! I hope this year is full of love, laughter and lots of great chicken stories. I was born and raised in Alexandria, and my parents still live up there…I hope you enjoyed their visit! Cheers!

  6. I have 4 hens who are all into their 3rd Winter. Although, this Winter hasn’t amounted to much, YET.
    So I just ordered two more chicks/hens. I’m getting a Cuckoo Maran and a Welsummer. I will get them around the end of Feb. as that’s when our feed store orders.
    I’m going to raise the chicks in the bathroom in a huge dog crate. I will start with the top inverted because it has solid sides and about the time the Girls outgrow that, they should be ready to go out into the smaller coop which we will put inside the large enclosure. We can’t free range here in the mountains as we have hawk sightings daily.
    Since the new Girls will be within sight of the older Girls, I think they will be desensitized to each other.
    Then we’ll remove the little coop and introduce the new Girls to the larger, attached coop. I hope my plan works out as well as it does in my head!

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