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fat hens

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

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.

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.

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!

Thanks


Edited by 1bigpekker - 12/16/16 at 2:19pm
post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1bigpekker View Post
 

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.

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.

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!

Thanks

I believe you answered your own question.........

 

 

Cheers!

Bouncers Mom..........Quack!
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Bouncers Mom..........Quack!
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

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.

If a hen is not laying eggs then it makes sense that all of food intake that is not used should turn to fat, assuming they are not molting.

This should happen to all hens when they go out of lay, say in the winter with shorter days.

So which came first, the non laying hen or the fat hen?

We will see as the days get longer if they begin to lay again, and lose the fat.

Thanks to responders


Edited by 1bigpekker - 12/17/16 at 7:15am
post #4 of 8

Okay, Cut back on the fillers and only feed them the Chicken feed....It is winter so they should start up again.....Yes, fat birds do not produce very well......

 

 

 

Cheers!

Bouncers Mom..........Quack!
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Bouncers Mom..........Quack!
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post #5 of 8

Does there breast bone feel squishy?Sometimes putting a light in the coop doesn't work.

 

 

Image result for egg laying chart chickens 


Edited by MasterOfClucker - 12/17/16 at 7:11am
Five Red Junglefowl,Ten Easter Eggers,Two African Geese,Three Fawn and White Runners and Four Rouen's.
 
 
~Isaac 
 
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Five Red Junglefowl,Ten Easter Eggers,Two African Geese,Three Fawn and White Runners and Four Rouen's.
 
 
~Isaac 
 
Reply
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1bigpekker View Post
 

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!

Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1bigpekker View Post
 

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! :welcome

 

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:

http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/12/chickens-obesity-silent-killer-how-to.html

https://hencam.com/henblog/2013/03/fat-hens-and-flock-health/

 

Winter egg laying:

http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2011/09/supplemental-light-in-coop-why-how.html

https://hencam.com/henblog/2011/12/winter-eggs-2/

 

Here's some helpful info on molting

http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2011/12/molting-what-is-it-and-how-to-help.html

https://hencam.com/faq/the-molt


Edited by Wyorp Rock - 12/17/16 at 7:16am
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the links and the advice.

I failed to include the fact that they free range on one acre fenced in and can get all the exercise they want.

They do lean heavily on the dog food and complain when there is only layer food in the feeder.

Thanks again.


Edited by 1bigpekker - 12/17/16 at 7:31am
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1bigpekker View Post
 

Thanks for the links and the advice.

I failed to include the fact that they free range on one acre fenced in and can get all the exercise they want.

They do lean heavily on the dog food and complain when there is only layer food in the feeder.

Thanks again.

:D  Yes, they can complain loudly about these things.  Try to cut back a little at a time, making sudden changes in diet can throw them off even more.

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