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Will My Chickens Lay Eggs Again?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

We have had nine chickens in our backyard for the last two years.  First we purchased five point of lay pullets from a commercial chicken farm, and they began to lay almost immediately and have been very reliable up until a couple of months ago. 

 

Six months after getting our first lot of chooks, we purchased five more hens that were approximately 18 months old and were about to be sent for slaughter.  These five were not as reliable as the younger girls, but at least three eggs a day was the norm for them.  Unfortunately one of the chooks passed away after becoming ill.

 

Since summer arrived two months ago, (approx 20 degrees celcius here in New Zealand), our youngest chooks have gone off the lay completely.  They have not really lost any feathers, and look very healthy and happy.  I feed them mash and add Kelp and Diatmaceous Earth.  They have water with a clove of garlic in to prevent worms, and my mum cooks up her left over vege scraps for them, which they get every couple of days.  They free range in the garden all day and sleep in their coop at night.

 

I'm not sure if it is a molt they are going through, and if they are likely to resume laying.  How long does the rest period last, and could anything else be preventing them from laying?  They have been so reliable up until now, that I have resisted hubby's request to turn them into roast chicken and get some new chooks.  I've checked aroung the garden thoroughly, and have not found any egg stashes.

 

I welcome your advice.

post #2 of 12

I know my girls slowed a little in the summer when it was super hot but they are younger than yours so they didn't quit completly.  I have always heard people usually "trade" for new layers at 3 years but we haven't been doing it long enough yet to have to do that.  Hope someone who has more experience chimes in and welcome-byc.gif.

Wife to a patient husband, mother to 2 great kids, 2 hunting cats, about 23 gold fish, 2 4-H sex-links, 2 Salmon Favorelles, 1 Mottled Houdan, 2 silkie, 1 Bantum Cochin Frizzle, 1 Sumatras, 2 Dorkings, 9 Phoenix' 3 Buttercups, 2 Cochins, and 6 Llamas.
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Wife to a patient husband, mother to 2 great kids, 2 hunting cats, about 23 gold fish, 2 4-H sex-links, 2 Salmon Favorelles, 1 Mottled Houdan, 2 silkie, 1 Bantum Cochin Frizzle, 1 Sumatras, 2 Dorkings, 9 Phoenix' 3 Buttercups, 2 Cochins, and 6 Llamas.
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post #3 of 12
Hi and Welcome to BYC smile.png

If they are molting then they wont lay till they finish which could be 2-4 months. Also since its winter the days are shorter and chickens require a certain amount of light to lay eggs.

Sorry you lost one of your girls. hugs.gif
If you have any questions about Coccidiosis, Mites & Lice, Worms, Molting, Vent Gleet, Bumble Foot, Egg Binding, or Prolapsed Oviduct, feel free to ask me about it or pm me.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/mites-lice-treatment-and-prevention
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chickens-loosing-feathers-managing-your-flocks-molt
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If you have any questions about Coccidiosis, Mites & Lice, Worms, Molting, Vent Gleet, Bumble Foot, Egg Binding, or Prolapsed Oviduct, feel free to ask me about it or pm me.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/mites-lice-treatment-and-prevention
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chickens-loosing-feathers-managing-your-flocks-molt
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post #4 of 12

welcome-byc.gif   they are young enough that they should resume laying at a somewhat reduced rate.

Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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post #5 of 12

welcome-byc.gif  from Highland County Ohio!!!

post #6 of 12
Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan big_smile.png

It is actually summer right now in New Zealand wink.png

If they are molting slowly, they will not look very ragged, and it will take quite a while for them to resume laying. You could temporarily switch them to a higher-protein ration, such as a grower/finisher type feed. Make sure to keep calcium available in case they start laying again.

You might also have a poop sample checked for parasites.
Edited by 1muttsfan - 1/3/13 at 4:13pm

Home of the world's cutest dachshund, one crazy blue heeler, two cats,
              one fat pony, and many (but not too many!) chickens

              Can anyone tell me, how many are too many chickens?

 



My Chickens
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Home of the world's cutest dachshund, one crazy blue heeler, two cats,
              one fat pony, and many (but not too many!) chickens

              Can anyone tell me, how many are too many chickens?

 



My Chickens
Reply
post #7 of 12

Greetings from Kansas, and welcome-byc.gif!  Great to have you in our community!  Good luck to you!
 

I never considered a difference in opinion, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.  - Thomas Jefferson
Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.  - Ben Franklin
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month.  - Teddy Roosevelt
 

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I never considered a difference in opinion, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.  - Thomas Jefferson
Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.  - Ben Franklin
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month.  - Teddy Roosevelt
 

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post #8 of 12

frow.gif & welcome-byc.gif from Alabama. Glad you joined us. 

9/28/2013 RIP Verity. . . You'll always be in our hearts.

 

Check out my Blog: The Country Chick                          And be sure to check out our soap shop on Etsy, here.

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9/28/2013 RIP Verity. . . You'll always be in our hearts.

 

Check out my Blog: The Country Chick                          And be sure to check out our soap shop on Etsy, here.

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post #9 of 12

frow.gif                        welcome-byc.gif              from washington state                               glad you joined us!

post #10 of 12

Hello and welcome to BYC frow.gif I've put together a list of reasons why hens don't lay. The link is in my signature at the bottom of my post if you want to have a look. Hope your girls give you some more eggs soon!

 

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

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“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

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