Anyone have any idea why my SLW's refused laying in their second year of existence? They got winter off hardly laid a thing all spring and then just stopped. The other birds were all 3 years or older. Plenty of calcium, plenty of greens, free ranging. Fox attack trauma? Can't think of anything else they all seemed very healthy. Very frustrating, it was.
Swampducks - as you can tell I am a lady who spoils everything that does not run away. I have had the best luck with egg production. I honestly think that it is because I kept some heat on the chickens in the Winter, fed the best feed I could buy, kept them fenced with a 6ft privacy fence so they cannot see dogs, cars or anything that would stress them out. I separate birds that are picking on each other because that stresses the whole flock. I free ranged daily with human supervision (either kids playing in the yard or me gardening). In Hawaii a lady showed me how to feed left over cooked fish to the chickens. The Omega 3 oils are FANTASTIC for egg laying. We eat fish a couple times a week and I am sure to give the scraps of fish, even the skin to the chickens. We also have an attitude of gratitude toward our chickens. We hold them, pet them and thank them for the eggs. (Hey our friends in Hawaii make offerings to the volcano and land also...)
We have never used a nest box. We let the hens make their own nests where ever they want to. We provide oyster shell from the pet store and very very clean water - I filter it through a Brita Filter because I cannot stand the chlorine taste of water. Anyhow - with all that spoiling - our laying age hens lay almost every day and we have had a mix of bantams and full size birds and breeds. Hope something in what we do will help you!