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Chickens haven't laid in four months, staying in coop

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi all, our six 18-month old chickens haven't laid in four months, since they started molting.  They molted back in the fall, but now we're seeing down feathers in the pen again, and they are spending a lot of time in their coop.  A couple combs are pink, but more than half seem to be pale.  They do have artificial light at night, and they eat Layena crumbles, and probably more mealworms than they should.  They don't seem unhappy or lethargic.  They're still very social.

 

Shouldn't they be laying again by now?  Do they need to be wormed or something?  We haven't noticed that their poo looks abnormal...

post #2 of 7

By artificial light at night, do you mean all night? How bright is it?

They really shouldn't have layer feed if none of them are laying.

 

Just because they aren't laying in winter, I wouldn't assume worms. You can have a fecal sample read to find out.

It may not hurt to worm since they aren't laying so you won't have to throw eggs away.


Edited by ChickenCanoe - 1/29/16 at 9:09am

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

Reply
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

They have a couple extra hours of light in their coop from an LED light.  It comes on at dusk and goes off around 10pm.  We did the same thing last winter, and while production dropped a bit, it picked back up pretty quickly when spring rolled around.

 

What should we be feeding them?

 

Yeah, I thought that about worms.  Seems like an odd time of year.  Maybe we'll take a fecal sample to a vet who treats birds.


Edited by ChickyChicky327 - 1/29/16 at 9:13am
post #4 of 7

Something with  1% calcium rather than 4%.

Layer is 4% and for birds actively building egg shells. All other feeds, all flock, grower, starter, finisher contain 1% calcium and for birds not building shells (chicks, roosters, molters, other non-laying birds.

The extra protein in most of those(except finisher) wouldn't hurt them either.

 

Is the light bright enough to read a newspaper by at roost height?

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

Reply

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

Reply
post #5 of 7

I'm experiencing exactly the same thing you describe.  Haven't had an egg since before Thanksgiving. I thought we were done with the moult but lately I've noticed downy feathers again. Chickens don't seem unhappy but do spend quite a bit of time in the coop rather than outside in the run. No other changes I've noticed - eating fine, pooping fine. I don't have any answers to your questions as I share your questions! But at least we are in good company :)

post #6 of 7

Thought to pop back: The girls laid their first egg since before Thanksgiving today so there is still hope for you! Hope your girls get it together quickly.

 

 

Woot!

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChickyChicky327 View Post
 

They have a couple extra hours of light in their coop from an LED light.  It comes on at dusk and goes off around 10pm.  We did the same thing last winter, and while production dropped a bit, it picked back up pretty quickly when spring rolled around.

 

What should we be feeding them?

 

Yeah, I thought that about worms.  Seems like an odd time of year.  Maybe we'll take a fecal sample to a vet who treats birds.

Last year they were pullets and they often lay all winter even without lights.

Agrees they need more protein (and less calcium) to grow out the new feathers.

 

I like to feed a 'flock raiser' 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat. I do grind up the crumbles (in the blender) for the chicks for the first week or so.

 

The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer. I adjust the amounts of other feeds to get the protein levels desired with varying situations.

 

Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

 

Animal protein (mealworms, a little cheese - beware the salt content, meat scraps) is provided during molting and if I see any feather eating.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
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