Here are some answers to some frequently asked questions about the molting process
WHAT IS MOLTING ANYWAY?
molting refers to the process of shedding old feathers and growing new ones to replace them. Birds do this for a number of reasons, most importantly warmth. Old, dull feathers are drier less insulating, + more prone to breakage. New feathers are nice + oily, creating the optimum insulation from the cold + wind.
WHY DO THEY STOP LAYING EGGS?
Well, the short answer is because growing feathers takes energy + nutrients.
Imagine losing every single hair on your body and growing them all back in a couple months. Not only is this process exhausting, it is uncomfortable too.
So in order to have the ability to grow beautiful new feathers, their body reroutes that egg energy to feather energy.
IS THERE ANY WAY TO SKIP/AVOID MOLTING?
No. This is a natural process that most birds experience in response to seasonal changes.
We raise our birds on pasture + with no artificial lighting, and allow them to experience all the seasons, providing them humane housing that protects them from wind, rain, + snow. Although egg production dips, they still contribute to the farm: managing pests, their old feathers providing crucial nutrients to our soil.
Conventionally-raised factory-farmed egg layers are subjected to ^24hr/day lighting and are raised indoors - disconnecting them from the rhythms of nature.
WHEN WILL THEY START LAYING AGAIN?
Since we have a diverse flock or a number of different breeds, they all begin and stop molting at different times.
This means that they will all resume laying at different times, so we monitor them closely.