Originally Posted by 1bigpekker
I keep reading that "fat hens do not lay eggs" and I have to wonder where that idea really comes from.
All the websites that refer to this say it is one of the 10 or so reasons hens stop laying eggs.
1. I have 2 americauns that are 6 mos old and lay almost every day.(blue eggs)
My other hens 5 (assorted) that are 3 yrs old are all fat and shiny and fully molted.
They get layer mash, dog food and bread for treats.
I have done this for their whole lives and got good production and beautiful eggs up until lately.
I have not gotten an egg from the older hens in two weeks.
I run lights from 4:00 am until 8:00 am and have been for 6 weeks.
All older hens have molted to some degree in the last month but are all done now.
2. I guess my question is are the 3 yr old hens just done laying?
I would think I would get a few eggs from them.
Or maybe they are too fat!
Originally Posted by 1bigpekker
Let me re-phrase the question.
Has anyone had hens that were laying and then fattened up the birds and then they stopped laying and then cut back their feed and have them start laying again?
Or maybe a publication that addresses this situation.
It seems that maybe it has been repeated so many times that it is now taken as fact.
Welcome To BYC!
We're glad you're here! Let's take a look your questions:
I have 2 americauns that are 6 mos old and lay almost every day.(blue eggs) These are young pullets, since they have just begun laying, they will generally lay all winter and through the summer/fall, no problem. You may see them begin their molt in the fall, egg production will stop, then they will gradually pick up production. But this can have many factors, level of light, shorter days, etc. I am not an expert on supplemental lighting, but if this is what you provide and it's gradual, then hopefully, production should be pretty good in winter.
I guess my question is are the 3 yr old hens just done laying? These hens are older. Most hens this age will not produce like they have in years past. Depending on the breed, they could realistically be "done", only giving a few eggs here and there. I think what you are seeing here, is just the natural cycle of older hens, since they have molted, it can take weeks for production to increase or they may take the winter off..
A good general rule it to limit treats to no more than 5-10% of daily intake. You feed layer mash, which most likely has 16% protein, so limiting treats to 5% would be best. Bread is a fine "treat" , but does not have the essential nutrients for chicken health. It's tempting to want to give them these things, who hasn't gone out see their hens and they all are begging. Dog food, some people do give this when their hens are in molt. It may have a higher protein content to help the re-feathering process. If you want to increase their protein, a better way would be to feed an all flock/flock raiser feed (18-20% protein), these are formulated for chickens of all ages and nutritionally balanced. Another nice source of protein is egg - scrambled or hard boiled. Mine love egg.
Just my thoughts.
Here's a couple of article on obesity:
Winter egg laying:
Here's some helpful info on molting
Edited by Wyorp Rock - 12/17/16 at 7:16am