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No eggs, help please.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I am new to raising chickens so I will provide as much information as I can and hopefully it will be all that you need to help answer why I am not getting any eggs. I have 4 chickens, 3 hens all laying age and a rooster. 2 of the hens I got together and the other came seperately, the rooster came later. I have had the rooster for a month. I started with just one hen and she was laying when i brought her home and for a about a week then I got the other 2 hens and she stopped laying, the rooster came about a week after I had all the hens. Everyone seems to be getting along well. They are all roosting together though one of the hens does roost lower then the other 2 hens and the rooster but no one shows obvious signs of being pecked at. The hens came to me with feathers missing but have been growing them in since ive had them but the rooster has started to loose some feathers now and I still see some feather from the hens in the coop.I dont know if this is molting or from stress or a change in feed or weather. I have them on a laying pellet with 16% protein plus oyster shell and grit offered freely and they get free range time daily. They always stick to the same area when theyre out of the coop and i dont see any eggs theyve hidden only areas where theyve scratched/dug. they also get offered different household treats as we have them. Currently its pumpkin gunk which they loved. smile.png They have a bucket of water with chicken nipples thats always kept filled. I just dont know what Im doing wrong here and its so frustrating. They have sun exposure when theyre let out, they have some exposure inside the old stall where they are kept too. Is it just not enough light? i dont have electricity out in the barn but I could rig up a latern? or something if i needed to. Is it molting? How long does that take anyway? Theyre new growth feathers have gotten past the quill and the actual feather growth is showing. I live in TN and our weather has been getting consistently chiller lately but flip flops as only weather in TN can. I feel like Im rambling here and Im not sure what Im missing, if there is any onther information you need please let me know.
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post #2 of 9

I expect mature hens to stop laying for at least a couple of months in fall -- and for even longer as they age -- due to decreasing light of shorter days and molt. Some hens may molt more lightly so that process may be less obvious. Stress from adding new birds is often cited also as a reason for them to stop laying.  

 

Since you have at least two of these things going on, I'd just let them settle in and assume they are taking a normal break from laying, if they all seem healthy, have a good diet, etc. When the days get longer, I'd expect them to start back up. Or add light to stimulate.

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EEs, BRs, Blue Andalusians, Exchequer Leghorns, Cream Legbar, Dominique, Partridge Penedesenca, Welsumer, Columbian Wyandotte
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post #3 of 9

I was wondering the same about my layers, as of the last few weeks. Originally thought it was we had too many roosters (6). We returned 4 and now even 2 seems too many.  Then we learned it was really that the days are getting shorter as fall falls effecting the chicken's endocrine (hormone) system. So I got a light timer and incandescent bulb lamp set up in the coop. Learned from the experienced folk here to set it for the to extend the daylight from the morning side. However I wanted to just flick on a light for a while in the evenings after I shut them into the coop, the chickens like getting up earlier and light to bed down early (early bird gets the worm), so using a timer is best and in the evenings would be destructively disruptive to their circadian cycle. Yes, it's also disruptive on the morning side but far less so and t least we'll eventually get eggs again out of it. Good Luck, Nick

post #4 of 9

Sounds like they are molting. What kind of chickens do you have?  I think the heavier breeds are better winter layers. The orphingtons and australorps that we have are still laying.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
The hens are wellsummers and the rooster is a buff orphington
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post #6 of 9

A bird needs a certain amount of food and water to produce an egg.

If you are providing all they can eat, perhaps that nipple system isn't letting them drink as much as a bowl would?

 

At the end of each day, I take a big bowl of crumble and make it into mash.

They eagerly gobble it up. It's funny though, if their dry food gets wet via rain, they avoid it like it's poison.

 

My birds lay all Winter long.

post #7 of 9
I'd say molting..
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Do you think they'll start laying again then before winter given were in the South
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post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALDavis View Post

Do you think they'll start laying again then before winter given were in the South
they need 14 hrs of light. So use a light in coop to achieve that..
Next depends on how old they are..if there hatchery production birds lay are usally only good for few years
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