Are you sure they were eating the fermented feed? Chickens don't like it when you switch feeds and can refuse to eat. If that's what happened it could stress their bodies into not laying. I tried to feed fermented feed once and my hens didn't like it. They probably would have starved themselves if I hadn't caved and given them their old feed. That's the only reason I can think of for the lack of eggs. Are they otherwise healthy?
FERMENTED FEEDS...anyone using them? - Page 681
At first my chickens wouldn't eat it either. So I started over with just mixing some water in with their feed every day. After about a week of that then I started fermenting it. I use the one bucket method, because quite frankly I'm lazy and it is the easiest way in my opinion, so it wasn't fermented on the first or second day but by the third day it was beginning to have that sour pickle he smell. They've eaten it ever since without a problem.
For the adults are usually just throw it out onto the ground. For the chicks I have put it in a bowl. When I put it on the ground they just looked at it.
Thank you. That's a great idea, I will have to try it.
I'm only researching fermented feed, and haven't been giving it to my chickens yet. But from what I've read it's supposed to increase egg production. I don't understand why your hens aren't laying or if it was caused by the feed. Maybe it's a coincidence, maybe not? Based o their ages they seem to young to be molting. They aren't losing feathers are they? Any sudden weather changes? I'm sorry I cant help very much, I've never heard of so many hens not laying at once. Do you know/have a vet you could talk to?
I doubt they are broken, so need for fixing. We need more information to find out what kind of feed you fermented, how much you were feeding and how long were you feeding it before you noticed a change? Are your chickens free ranged at all? VERY unusual to not see a single egg after having 20 eggs per day, so I'm thinking your eggs are getting taken rather than not being laid.
Thanks for the replies. So they are getting an egg layer mash made at a local feed store, this is Wisconsin and the weather has been crummy for a week or so. Aftet 1st day of fermented feed, eggs went from 20 to13, day 2 to 2 eggs, day 3 also 2 eggs. Like I said, I started worrying I was hurting them and switched back to the same feed dry, and now it is day 6 with no eggs. They free range in the afternoons only otherwise we lose their eggs all over the woods.🙂
There's absolutely no reason that FF would cause a sharp decrease in the laying of a flock if you are feeding adequate amounts of feed. I'd say it's more likely your birds are waiting to lay until later and laying out in the bush. I have 4 in my own flock that are doing the same and, even if I lock them up on the coop for a day, they will hold those eggs and keep them for the following day until they can access their hidden nests....so waiting until evening is no big stretch for chickens. This is the time of year for birds to be hiding nests with the intent of sitting them.
Lock them in the coop and run for a week and see if your egg count increases. If it doesn't, I'd be looking for a small predator that is taking them, as the feed only changes into higher nutrition when fermenting it.
You have done no harm at all and can switch back to dry quite easily. I encourage you to do so and see if your egg count increases. I'm betting that won't make a bit of difference.