At seven months, egg production in your flock should be well established and you may be experiencing peak production at this time. Maintain good management practices to ensure the health of your birds throughout the laying cycle. Don’t be surprised if you notice your pullets start to lose their feathers. Molting is a normal process when feathers are lost and replaced by new ones. When pullets lose all their feathers, it is called a full molt. Others may only lose some of their feathers, usually around their neck, which is a partial molt. During molting, a bird will go out of production. This period gives the reproductive tract time to rest after the stress of many months of producing eggs.
After molting, egg production resumes about 8 to 12 weeks later. Once they return to production, the rate of lay is about 10 percent less than the first cycle. However, the eggs are usually larger with stronger shells. Although molting occurs naturally after 10 to 14 months of egg production, it can also be caused accidentally as the result of stress due to disease, extreme temperatures, decrease in light exposure, and a lack of feed and/or water.