Egg laying, moulting and portraits

I realised recently that if we hadn’t added the three newer girls in February we would have had hardly any eggs this year.

Salmon hasn’t laid at all this year which was actually a relief as it has meant that she has remained in good health. She hasn’t moulted and has kept a red comb.

Spangle laid five eggs and then stopped laying in early May and has moulted. While moulting she has a pale comb.

Sugar lays eight eggs and then goes broody. She hasn’t moulted at all and looks pristine and has a red comb.

Dot laid four eggs, each one six days apart, then stopped laying and hasn’t laid for two months. She has been moulting slowly during this time and has gone from very tattered to looking good but with a slightly pale comb.

Flame hasn’t laid since mid June when she first went broody and then moulted quite heavily. She is looking tatty and has a pale comb.

Gold lays for two days then misses a day. She has moulted a little behind her tail where she now has fluffy feathers and has some ragged tail feathers. She has a red comb.

Snowflake lays for two or three days running and then misses a day and she has a very ragged tail and wing feathers and a red comb.

Storm looks pristine and hasn’t lost any feathers and has a red comb. Storm was our best layer and would lay four days in a row then miss one day. However Storm hasn’t laid for five days now so I think that she may have come to the end of her laying season for this year. She has laid for three months.

Game birds usually have a short laying season but lay well during the time that they are laying. Toffee and Emerald also laid well but only for two or three months.

Ebony and Flame both laid for longer but they have more of the wyandotte in their mix. As Storm is a pure breed I had expected her to have a short season. Everything I read about her said that her breed doesn’t lay well and I have been surprised at how well she has laid until now so I am assuming that she is finished for this year.

Salmon looks almost pristine and has a red comb

By the way that is apple in front of Salmon that the girls have made dirty.

Spangle has some ragged tail feathers and a pale comb
Sugar looks pristine and has a red comb
Flame is looking very tatty and has a pale comb
Dot is looking good
Gold has some fluffy feathers and ragged tail feathers
Snowflake has a very ragged tail and some ragged wing feathers
Storm looks pristine
Storm shows off her height

I included this extra photo of Storm because it is only when she stands upright that she shows her true height. The other day she was standing like this alongside Flame and it was funny to see that they were the same height despite being such different sizes.

So the flock are all at different stages of feathering at the moment. I have been picking up loads of feathers from the run each day but today it has slowed down a bit. There will be more to come later in the year as the rest of the girls moult.

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6 Responses to Egg laying, moulting and portraits

  1. Sophie says:

    Sounds like you have three good layers! xx

  2. Marion Pharo says:

    The girls that have finished their moult look rearlly good. I am sure the others will soon catch up.

  3. David says:

    It’s great if they can be well through before the colder weather hits. I have had a sharp drop in egg production these recent days, not helped by serial broodiness! Several of mine are moulting for real. Thinking back over 50 years, my hamburgs were very poor layers in their first season, with one of the hens not laying at all and the other about one egg every 3 weeks on average. In their second year, however, after their moult they really came into their own. Fingers crossed for Dot to be a better producer for you next year!

    • Carol says:

      That is so encouraging. I have recently also read on forums of hamburgs not always being great layers. I just worried after Spot that there may be the same problem with Dot. What I have noticed recently is that Dot’s comb and face are more red than they were so I am hopeful that now she is getting through the moult she is in good health and possible egg laying in the future. Of course it is not the eggs that are important it is what the egg laying means about the health of the girls and I don’t want to lose them. I am feeling more positive now. Thank you for your observations, it always helps me to put things in perspective.

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