1 Month No Eggs!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jorgey, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. jorgey

    jorgey Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 17, 2008
    Utah
    I've got 15 hens (about 18 months old) and have not gotten an egg for a month! They were giving me about a dozen eggs a day up until a month and half or two ago and they sloooowly started slowing down. They did start molting so I thought no big deal they'll pick up again in a few weeks. That slow down is gone on to a full blown strike! Yes, it has gotten a little colder and darker with the onset of winter, but they laid all through the winter last year like nothing.

    I know a lot of peoples opinion is to start culling chickens between and 18 months and 2 years, but to stop laying at exactly 18 months and not pick up again? This is ridiculous.

    I usually sell all of my excess eggs, and the worst part of all is that I had to buy grocery stores last week!

    Any suggestions as to how I could convince these ladies to start laying again?
     
  2. wombat

    wombat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2009
    Allow about 6 to 10 weeks for them to fully recover from molting. The "rule of thumb" in large, force-molted flocks is 50% production at 10 weeks. In my limited experience, it is fairly variable with individual birds as to how long they'll need, but a month is too soon to expect recovery. Not sure from your post as to how long ago the molt actually started.

    Given the number of daylight hours available now, I'd suggest leaving them with the limited daylight for at least several more weeks and letting them molt completely and rest.

    As they are coming out of it, a bit more protien will help. I've used small amounts of canned cat food, but Terri has recommended using canned salmon instead, so I'm going to try that.
     
  3. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    My older ladies are molting too. I switched to a 22% gamebird feed in the hopes the extra protien will help them get thru it and back into production faster. I don't know yet if it will help since I started them on it yesterday, but at least I feel like I'm doing something for my poor bald girls.
     
  4. jorgey

    jorgey Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 17, 2008
    Utah
    wombat and Kittymomma,

    Thank you both for your replies. It has been 4 to 6 weeks for most of them since they began their molt. Most of them look great with their nice, new, full feathered look, but I guess I need to give them a little more time to recover. I feed them 20% protein layer feed and they free range so I guess I just need to hang on a little longer and see what happens. Maybe I will try a little cat food or salmon supplement as well.
     
  5. wombat

    wombat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2009
    If they've just molted, and aren't getting 12-14 hours of light a day, they aren't likely to start up again quickly. I'd give them another month before starting up with artificial light, though. Give them a rest.
     

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