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Livestock Production


Moulting - a natural process

 
MR Ellis
 
 

Moulting is the process of shedding and renewing feathers. During the moult the reproductive physiology of the bird is allowed a complete rest from laying and the bird builds up its body reserves of nutrients.

 

Normally, under natural conditions, moulting in adult birds will occur once a year, though it may occur in certain individuals twice in one year, and more rarely only once in a period of two years. Natural moulting usually begins sometime during March-April and should be completed by July when egg production recommences.

 

Pullets coming into lay in June should lay until the following April thereby giving eleven months continuous egg production without the aid of artificial light. Pullets coming into lay in August (spring in the southern hemisphere) should lay well into April (nine months) but unless artificial lighting is provided, most of them will moult during May and June.

 
 
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Article made possible through the contribution of Natural Remedies.

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