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2 year old chickens not laying~ Help~

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you for reading this and any help would be greatly appreciated!
We started our flock with 4 hens 2 years ago, may 2011, (2 rhode Island Reds and 2 Barred Rocks). The first year they were laying but for about a year now they are barely laying...if it's a good day we get 1 egg total. A few months ago we suddenly found one of the Reds had expired with no apparent reason. We are just about to get some new pullets and had a couple of questions.
1) should we worry about putting the new birds with these 3 if we dont' know why they aren't laying
2) any suggestions for finding out why they aren't laying (we haven't changed a single thing that would upset their routine, they aren't free ranged but have a large run)
3) if we decide to use them for meat birds, should we be concerned about eating them if we don't know why they aren't laying?? We are new to raising chickens and any help would be terrific! Thank you so much!
post #2 of 11

What are you feeding them?

Black Australorps, Easter Eggers, Buff Minorcas, and Nankins. 

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” - William Shakespeare
 

Reply

Black Australorps, Easter Eggers, Buff Minorcas, and Nankins. 

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” - William Shakespeare
 

Reply
post #3 of 11

Are their combs and waddles nice and red?  Are they loosing weight?  How does their feathers look?  Nice and sleek and shiny or ragged and dull?

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
They look really good, feathers are nice and sleek, they are eating layer feed supplemented with corn and green veggies, eating well....every so often one of the barred rocks sneezes but that is about it..aside from not laying and one dying they look super happy, it's really puzzling
post #5 of 11

I've heard submerging them in ice water shocks them in to laying again. It sort of resets their systems... and I have also heard of putting a faux egg in the nesting boxes. It makes them think they need keep it warm which then helps them start laying again.. Depending on the time of year like where I am (in Oregon) where its rainy 90% of the year, using a white light that is set on a timer to go off at a certain time also should help. Chickens egg laying is based on how much daylight they get. Maybe you need to get more nesting boxes also if they are too crowded? Hope my newbie knowledge isn't skewed by myth or anything but I hope this helps.  

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjohnston1204 View Post

They look really good, feathers are nice and sleek, they are eating layer feed supplemented with corn and green veggies, eating well....every so often one of the barred rocks sneezes but that is about it..aside from not laying and one dying they look super happy, it's really puzzling

 

If you are giving a huge amount of corn (more than 10% of the feed) this could make the egg production decrease some since eggs are protein and the layer will be 16% protein whilst corn is 7-9% protein.

Black Australorps, Easter Eggers, Buff Minorcas, and Nankins. 

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” - William Shakespeare
 

Reply

Black Australorps, Easter Eggers, Buff Minorcas, and Nankins. 

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” - William Shakespeare
 

Reply
post #7 of 11

Don't dunk them in ice cold water.  Cruel and definitely won't jump start them into laying again.:he

 

Chickensaresweet gives excellent advice.  It could be their food and they sound nice and healthy.  Have you picked any of them up to see if maybe they are loosing weight?  I'm wondering if maybe worms.  Don't jump to any conclusions.  Take it one step at a time. 

 

They also might be going into a slower laying period getting ready for the cold winter though I don't know where you live.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for your advice....they haven't been laying for about a year...do you think it's safe to put new birds in with them?
post #9 of 11

I'm sure it's safe to put other chickens in with them.

 

One more question.  Did you buy them as chicks or as started birds?

post #10 of 11

To mjohnson1204...Sounds like they may be old and ready to retire to either a soup kettle or a nice green pasture....Old hens do lay off and on even at an advanced age...Since you are talking about just a very few hens,  they could simply be poor layers to start with..Get some new hens and deal with these in the way that you are most comfortable......I really like the one about dunking them in ice water to shock them into laying....Like the humor, not the torture to the poor creatures being dunked...Take care

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