In some circumstances it can be necessary to delay a flock coming into production, for instance because the production unit is not ready, market situation is bad or because there is a risk of small eggs due to underdeveloped birds.
With a pre-molting program, the start of production can be delayed by approximately 4 to 5 weeks. The principle of the molting progam is to let the birds drop 300-500 gram of body weight directly at the beginning of production (0-5% production) by withdrawing the water for two days and the feed for 5 days.
On day 6, the birds are given 5 gram of grain, to restart their intestinal tract.
After the feed has been withdrawn for this period, we slowly bring the birds back in production by increasing the feed from approximately 50 gram at day 7 to 120 grams at day 13.
If we want to delay the production with more than 4 to 5 weeks, we can delay the increment of the feed by not reaching 120 grams at day 13 but for instance at day 16.
The feed is kept at 120 grams until 5% production is reached. From that moment on, feed is increased in the usual way, as described in the management guide.
After withdrawing the water for two days, 150 grams of water per bird is given each day, until the feed level reaches 70-75 grams. From this moment on, enough water is given to keep the water to feed ratio 2 : 1.
During the molting period, the light is kept at 8 hours a day, at a low intensity. Once production start, the light duration and intensity can be increased.
Molting should only be done on females. Males can not handle a molting program. Males should be kept at a feed level adequate for maintenance during the molting preriod (approximately 100g/male/day).