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What is the average egg laying cycle?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I have had some of my chickens for almost 2 to 3 years.  Since the end of August, egg production has really slowed:/ and now it has come to a complete halt.barnie  I haven't bought eggs in over two years and yesterday I had to buy eggs at the store ep YIKES!!  How long to chickens regularly lay eggs?  Mine went through a molt earlier in the year, so I know it isn't molting that has caused this.

How do I make sure that my new hens will lay in the coop and not out in our yard 5.5 acres somewhere?

I want my own egg production back - and I would SO appreciate some wisdom from my Back Yard Chicken experts to help me remedy this situation.

THANKS smile

post #2 of 8

Most people that have hens for eggs(not pets) cull or sell the layers at about 2 years, because of the lack of production.

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Wife to a wonderful husband, mom to 4kids.  My zoo Beezis my Percheron, Heart my Paint, 10 Saanens, 4 Alpines, 3 cats, English Mastiff.

RIRs, Cuckoo Marans, Welsummers, Buff Orps, Jesery Gaints, EE's and more and Ancona ducks.
 

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post #3 of 8

I have heard this as well. Hens that are bred for egg laying just don't last that long. I find it somewhat suspicious that they would all stop at the same time though? Have you tried putting a light in the coop? I believe that is supposed to help with egg production. Hope this helps.

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Have some Horizon single N.E.S.T. bird shippers available!  Send me a message if you're interested!
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post #4 of 8

Keep in mind, that more than one story has unfolded on this forum, of hens that age that suddenly had their egg production drop, where a huge stash of eggs was found out in the yard.  Even with people that had already looked for a stash.  You could try keeping them in temporarily and seeing if you suddenly get eggs.  Do you have a run for them?

Chickens usually have more of a tendency to gradually slow down in their laying, not go full tilt and then all of a sudden just stop, due to age.

Things like being broody, heavy molting or the shorter days of winter, can stop laying suddenly.

We aren't using any supplemental lighting right now, some of our chickens are still molting and we are still getting eggs from grown hens.  So, I'm really wondering if they aren't just laying out on the property somewhere.

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodlandWoman 

Keep in mind, that more than one story has unfolded on this forum, of hens that age that suddenly had their egg production drop, where a huge stash of eggs was found out in the yard.  Even with people that had already looked for a stash.  You could try keeping them in temporarily and seeing if you suddenly get eggs.  Do you have a run for them?

Chickens usually have more of a tendency to gradually slow down in their laying, not go full tilt and then all of a sudden just stop, due to age.

Things like being broody, heavy molting or the shorter days of winter, can stop laying suddenly.

We aren't using any supplemental lighting right now, some of our chickens are still molting and we are still getting eggs from grown hens.  So, I'm really wondering if they aren't just laying out on the property somewhere.


Sorry, I didn't see the part about them being rangers. I would also say they are probably hiding their eggs somewhere. I have about 8 hens that should be laying, no wait that would be 9. I only get 2 eggs a day because they do hide them. I find them occassionally, with a nest of 12 or more eggs, take the eggs and they move it somewhere else.

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Have some Horizon single N.E.S.T. bird shippers available!  Send me a message if you're interested!
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post #6 of 8

You forgot 3 more things.... sickness, stress, and Nutrients these can slowly reduce laying and also bring it to fast stop.  I would say its just a molt or hiding eggs though.

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BYC Birthday Thread
www.coloredeggfarms.com  out of chickens at moment, but soon to be replenished!
Owned by (Tiramisu)
1 Australorp, 1 GLW, 2 silkies, 1 buff 1 partridge, and 1 silkie mix roo, 1 Barred Rock, 1 sex link, 1 Spangled Hamburg, 4 Iowa blues, 3 buttercups, and 2 Russian Orloff chicks!
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post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

I have had my boys looking all over the yard wee in the hay, in the woods, etc.  We haven't found any eggs yet.  I will take the advice and keep the hens locked up in their coops for the next couple of days and see what happens.

The hens get oyster shell, laying pellets and are free ranged all day - so I am confident they are well nourished and happy.  We use diatomacious earth in their coops to keep down the parasites and also mix it in their food in summer months.  Does anyone continue to mix it during the winter?  I would be interested in knowing.

Thanks again - I will keep you all posted and let you know if we find a stash of eggs somewhere or if cooping them up for a couple of days helps uncover the mystery of the egg production question smile

post #8 of 8

Chickens only lay well for about 18 months to 2 years.  It's fall too, and the lack of 14 hours of light will stop them from laying too.  I'd look for the stash though. wink

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