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Spring chickens quit laying eggs!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Ok I hope I can start a new thread here.  My four chickens were laying 3 to 4 eggs a day.  I have two RIR's and two Buff Orpington's. The two RIR's are both litter mates and two years old.  They were laying mostly every day each, now nothing. The one 

Flopsie, got very lathargic and would just lay down inside or outside in the run. I tried giving her more calcium separately, but to no avail. I checked for stuck egg with a glove and gel, Nope! We were both very uncomfortable with that. lol She got better after a few days but still no egg. Henny Penny the other RIR was fine just stopped laying.  The one Buff (Buffy-one year old) went broody and after three days in solitare she got better, but no eggs either. The other Buff (Willow-maybe one year old) gives me an egg every other day. It has been three weeks so........ question should I whack them and put them in the freezer and start over or wait a few weeks and see what happens. No signs of moulting, I did change feed pellets, no other signs of disease. I let them out during the day in the run and free range in the evening when I am with them.

I have since obtained 4 pullets (Buff's :yiipchick) and 6 Guinea hens, then later 6 more straight run buffs(maybe a week old- fuzz butts :jumpy).  The first batch of Buffs have feathered out mostly (80%), guineas fully feathered.Anyway any ideas on the older egg layers?? :barnie

 

Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!

post #2 of 6
Some hens take breaks from laying, especially dual purpose breeds. Whether to wack them or not is your choice. If you want a continuous supply of eggs choose egg laying breeds and feed and house them correctly and they will lay all they can.

The main reasons for hens to quit laying is age, diet, stress, disease, weather changes, broody, and molting to name a few. No hen can lay continuously indefinitely.
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
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 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldhenlikesdogs View Post

Some hens take breaks from laying, especially dual purpose breeds. Whether to wack them or not is your choice. If you want a continuous supply of eggs choose egg laying breeds and feed and house them correctly and they will lay all they can.

The main reasons for hens to quit laying is age, diet, stress, disease, weather changes, broody, and molting to name a few. No hen can lay continuously indefinitely.


What you say is true, but I am interested in the "duration" of breaks from laying.  Weather has turned to awesome from the cold winter to spring. The days start at 50 to 60 and go up to 75 to 80 degrees in the afternoon. so I don't think its weather. No stress factors, don't think it is age, but a definite factor in the RIR's case (two years), the buff's are a year younger, no molting observed in them, They did that last winter. I did change their pellet food brand, but they favor scratch (my mix of wild bird seed and black sunflower seeds) They also forage about in the evenings on bugs grass, clover and etc.  You would think their crop feathers would pop off, ha ha. I don't see a "normal" deterrent for egg laying.Thanks for the comeback. 

post #4 of 6
Mine like scratch too, but they need the higher protein from a ration, I like an 18-20% to offset the extras they get. Have you've looked around to make sure they aren't laying elsewhere? In the spring many hens will try to hide their eggs and often start to lay in other areas, so have a good look around.

Some of mine will lay good for about 2-3 months than take 6-8 weeks off, but they are mostly hens over 2 year. It's not unusual for some to take a week or two off just randomly, but most lay fairly consistently once they start until the heat of summer slows them down.
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
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 #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Well I'll be hornswoggled!!  I went out to give the girls their treat of boiled white rice (no salt) and checked for eggs.  I got TWO eggs, one from the Buffs and one from one of the RiR. I think it was Flopsie she gives a large long brown egg. :wootI hope they are coming back to laying again.  That would be sweet. Thanks for the wisdom and sharing.  I do appreciate it.   :thumbsup

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Here it is nearly the end of the month and two days ago I got three eggs.  I only got one egg yesterday, but was thrilled with the fact that three out of the four hens actually laid an egg. LOL

I am letting them out under supervision to forage through the back yard and tall clover. All I can see are tail feathers sticking up to tell where they are. All seem healthy and happy now if they just keep on laying. Here are a couple of pictures of their run, coop and clover.

 

Looking to the south east clover around the run/coop.

 

Looking around to the more eastward, all the backyard covered in clover (second year), Chickens love it, bees love it, and it smells so much better than the chickens. LOL:thumbsup

 

So next two batches of chickens and guineas.  Wow they have grown since I got them first of the month.

 


Yes third batch of straight run Buff Orpington chicks. From Atwoods up in Joplin.  I already have the larger chicks and guineas coming up to eat boiled rice from my fingers and they are voracious

Hope everyone enjoys the post. 

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