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Flock recovered but still not laying?

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone,
Im new here, I am in my third year of keeping chickens. So here's some background.

I have 33 birds total. My first hen, Penny, i got from a friend and she's still around. She is at least 4, but maybe as old as 6. She has survived EVERYTHING. Two roosters, Heisenberg and Polka, introduced last year. One Guinea, Kevin, who just showed up one day and joined the flock. And my current flock of 29 from this spring, including one "accidental" white leghorn rooster named Cotton. My layers consist of Reds, Easter Eggers, white leghorns, delawares, black australorp, buff orpingtons and barred rocks. My flock from last year was destroyed in a raccoon attack that took everyone except Penny, Kevin, Heisenberg and one Red who died a few weeks ago.

Anyway here is my quandry. We had a relentlessly wet summer down here in south Florida, and while i kept the coop reasonably clean and dry, the birds were still allowed out in the run and yard. I suspect that that is why I got some respiratory illness in my flock. I lost one bird from the illness, as well as my sweet surviving Red from last year, although I dont think she died of the same thing.

I treated with tetracycline for two weeks followed by a three week egg withdrawal period. The birds who were showing symptoms clearrd up after the first week. The treatment appeared to be successful, although I currently have three different symptomatic birds going through another week of treatment away from the flock. During their treatment and since I have been adding electrolyte blend to their water.

My question is, my birds began to mature around the time of their treatment. I was getting up to 9 eggs a day from all kinds of birds. Now i seem to get about 5 to 7 a day from the same 6 or so birds. The flock seems healthy; i check them each day and night for symptoms or other problems. Strangely, my sickest bird, a white, still lays an egg a day. I did notice that they empty their feeder before I get home from work and act ravenous when I fill it back up in the morning. Should I just increase their feed and wait it out? Or could there be another solution to try? I worry that by being sick before their production will be stunted. Any thoughts?
post #2 of 2

Welcome!  You need to have enough food and feeders so they aren't empty.  For my 35 birds, I have three 11 lb. feeders that I check and top off daily.  If you have a respiratory illness, it may take a while to return to good production, and depending on the disease,  maybe never.  Check with your state veterinary lab about testing for mycoplasma at least.  Do you have an avian vet nearby?  Mary

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