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Americana chickens stopped laying

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I've been trying to research and it seems they aren't very good layers in the winter but all 3 of mine stopped laying in August. Before the days start getting really short. One went broody and ended up hatching 11 chicks hidden away beside our house. The other 2only layed maybe a few more eggs after she went broody. They were never really great layers. They are only 10 months old. Broody mama hasn't layed (well none of the 3 have) since she went broody- 5 months ago. She had really just started laying when she went broody. She is broody again (or still) it seems. I just caught her burying some some of my other hens eggs. She turned out to be a great mama (a couple of our jersey giants went broody but killed all the babies they hatched) so we plan on letting her hatch anything she wants as long as she wants but it is normal for them to stop laying completely and so soon to the time they first lay? I am hoping to see some more blue eggs in the spring but the season hadn't really changed when they stopped. I find it a little odd that the other 2 stopped laying so close to the time mama went broody but neither of them went broody. 

post #2 of 5
They are pretty poor layers. I think you will get a burst of eggs from March to June than nothing until fall, then another month then they will stop. That was how mine layered, they are not bred for production. I'm pretty sure that's why EE came about, though they don't always lay well either.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #3 of 5


Again, I've had EEs 3 times and they were year round layers, short molters & laid really well.  There is no way to generalize about EEs or most chickens, as we get them from so many places.  Mine produced very well all three times.  More info might make us able to answer your question better.

post #4 of 5

You obviously let them free range since your broody hatched chicks in a hidden nest. My bet is that these birds are just not laying in the nests you provide. I have an araucana cross and she's really sneaky about where she lays.... I have to keep a close eye and ear on her and finding nests usually involves climbing ladders. Her daughters are the same. I found a mountain of 47 pink and blue eggs last winter that 2 of them had been building.... little monkeys!! Amazingly all 47 were still edible too.

 

If she is going broody again then she will almost certainly have been laying, as that is the normal sequence.... lay a clutch of eggs and then hatch them.... if she is trying to hatch your other chickens eggs it could be that her clutch has been found and eaten by a predator... maybe 2 legged or 4 legged depending on your neighbourhood. They normally start laying again as soon as they cast their chicks off somewhere between 6 and 8 weeks, but if that coincides with autumn and moulting then they may not start up again until spring. I have found my blue egg layers (granted none are pure bred) to be my best winter layers.... you just need to look hard to find them. 

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rebrascora View Post
 

You obviously let them free range since your broody hatched chicks in a hidden nest. My bet is that these birds are just not laying in the nests you provide. I have an araucana cross and she's really sneaky about where she lays.... I have to keep a close eye and ear on her and finding nests usually involves climbing ladders. Her daughters are the same. I found a mountain of 47 pink and blue eggs last winter that 2 of them had been building.... little monkeys!! Amazingly all 47 were still edible too.

 

If she is going broody again then she will almost certainly have been laying, as that is the normal sequence.... lay a clutch of eggs and then hatch them.... if she is trying to hatch your other chickens eggs it could be that her clutch has been found and eaten by a predator... maybe 2 legged or 4 legged depending on your neighbourhood. They normally start laying again as soon as they cast their chicks off somewhere between 6 and 8 weeks, but if that coincides with autumn and moulting then they may not start up again until spring. I have found my blue egg layers (granted none are pure bred) to be my best winter layers.... you just need to look hard to find them. 

They are free range but aren't currently. Our temps have been in the teens and they haven't left the coop for a month. I did find one of my non-broody's clutch over the summer but she stopped laying the same time Snowy went broody. The 3rd one rarely leaves the actual pen and I have never found a clutch for her. 2 of them (snowy and the one that I never found anything for) appear to be going broody right now but they haven't been out of the coop in a month and they haven't laid anything- I have dug through bedding on the coop floor looking. Nothing. Snowy has proven herself to be an excellent mother so even if she never lays another egg I will be happy with her since the only others that went broody ate the chicks as they hatched. I am happy to let her hatch everybody else's as long as she wants. Of the 11 she hatched only 3 are hens. We wanted to keep them but if they stop laying completely over the winter when they can't free range I don't know that we will keep them. They are half RIR I've been curious as to what color eggs they will lay and whose traits they will have- they are all red with a little gray in the tail feather with little ear muff tufts. They are quite interesting. 

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