Induced molting of commercial layer chickens must be a carefully monitored and controlled procedure, with special attention paid to flock health, mortality, and bird weight. Neither water nor food should be withdrawn to induce molting. Acceptable practices include reduction of photoperiod (day length) and specific nutrient restrictions that result in cessation of egg production. Induced molting extends the productive life of commercial chicken flocks and results in a substantial reduction in the number of chickens needed to produce the nation's egg supply.
Welfare Implications of Induced Molting of Layer Chickens (PDF)