11 Hens I'm Lucky to get 2 eggs a day

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kleinengel10, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. kleinengel10

    kleinengel10 New Egg

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    Oct 30, 2013
    Rives Junction, MI
    This issue of 1-3 eggs a day has been going on for close to 2 months now..lately 0-1 eggs. My hens will be 2 years old in April. I noticed a changed after the rooster was killed by my dog, he died protecting his hens in the coop. (my husband didn't latch the door properly and dog got in) Does loosing their rooster affect them to this degree? If so should I get a new rooster? They have all laid so well even through last winter, I was getting so many eggs usually 9-11 a day. I have 2 Americanas they have not laided in over a month. 2 Barred Rocks, 3 Isa Browns, 2 RIR, 2 black sex link. Nothing has changed with food, grit, oyster and veggie scraps. I have a light in the coop (did the same thing last winter) that i started a week ago and that didn't change anything. Any thoughts?
     
  2. LBejaran

    LBejaran Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2013
    Deep South Texas
    Most hens, in their second year, molt in the winter, so that could be why your hens are slowing down. The stress of losing a rooster during an attack certainly doesn't help, though. I'd recommend not leaving your lighting on and letting them take a break so they can relax. Giving them a chance to recover from the stress and trauma of losing their rooster can really help.

    Eventually, your hens will go through a proper molt and will stop laying eggs altogether until they grow their feathers back. Increasing the protein in their feed may help with that. But for now, since this has been going on for awhile, I think just letting them take their time to get back to normal will help. You can add a rooster eventually, especially if you need flock protection, but I wouldn't stress the hens out just yet with a new one who may be overzealous with mating. When you do look for one, I'd try and find a mellow breed that serves as good protection while still being very gentle with the hens.
     
  3. kleinengel10

    kleinengel10 New Egg

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    Oct 30, 2013
    Rives Junction, MI
    thank you! So there is still hope, my husband thinks they should become food now they stopped laying. But I am not giving up on them.
     
  4. Agree with Ibejaran - it is molting time. Give them a few weeks and see how they go. Also agree that youmight want to kill the light - let them rest for a bit.

    Good luck - let us know how they do.
     
  5. LBejaran

    LBejaran Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2013
    Deep South Texas
    Your hens will have a good 3 years of laying on them (and sometimes more!) if you give them a winter break. In factory farms, they force chickens through the molt so they can produce eggs more quickly and once they stop laying, they dispose of them. As BYCers, I feel like we have the responsibility to make our hens' lives much better than those in the horrid conditions of factory farms.

    Eventually, if you don't want to continue paying for non-laying hens, you can retire them to the soup pot, but I'd say to give them a while longer. They aren't little machines. They will lay for you much longer if given small breaks. If they stop laying, it's likely for a good reason, especially with all the TLC it sounds like you give them.
     
  6. kleinengel10

    kleinengel10 New Egg

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    Oct 30, 2013
    Rives Junction, MI
    Today I bought black oil sunflower seeds and a supplement high in protein and added it to there crack corn I use for there scratch. So I hope this helps and no light. No eggs was laid today. They were happy to do a lil exploring out of their run. I let them out a couple times a week, when the bad dog is secure in the house.
     
  7. LBejaran

    LBejaran Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2013
    Deep South Texas
    It can take 1 to 2 weeks for hens to adjust to their new feed/supplements. I know it sounds like a lot of time, but your hens -and in turn, your eggs- will be better for it. Adjusting their diet like you are right now is similar to what they would do naturally. Hens aren't meant to lay eggs nonstop throughout the year, but breeding has changed chicken breeds enough that they do so for the first couple years before burning out. I'm hoping that not always utilizing lights and feeding them a good feed will keep them going for years rather than just one or two. I would rather them pass on from natural selection rather than me running them ragged. I'm sure you feel the same.

    Keep us up to date on how your hens are doing! That they are calm and happy is a good sign that they will eventually perk up and begin laying eggs again.
     

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