2 Barred rock hens haven't laid an egg since mid December???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by HiddenHens987, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. HiddenHens987

    HiddenHens987 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello all,
    Just as the title says, I have 2 barred rock hens that were purchased as a few days old back in March 2011. They were great layers through the summer and fall. They went through the molt period and now have all new feathers.

    I haven't added any extra lights to the pen but I am considering doing this over the upcoming weekend. Both hens seem healthy and happy and are eating and drinking normally. There weight is good and they are acting normally. Neither seem to spend extended periods in the hen house and they are out playing and pecking around in the run area.

    I did a search and read some articles but most of the articles say production will slow or stop for a period of time. I'm just not sure if the amount of time they haven't layed an egg is normal or the sign of a problem...

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. chicken-wish

    chicken-wish Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm probibly not much help but, I do know that I've had some hens stop laying for the winter all together and start up again in the spring, but all the other chickens keep laying (not nessesarily everyday though). I don't know why some seem to do this and not others. [​IMG] The only knowledge I have is that cold weather will slow production for sure due to the fact that the extra energy usually used to make and lay eggs is instead used for making body heat and if there is only enough nutrients to make body heat then egg production slows down even more than usual. I don't know if that helps or not. If someone has more knowledge of this I would be interested too.
     
  3. chookhead

    chookhead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    u are right ^ if u want to warm them up u can make little jumpers add lighting heating or simply add some cayene pepper to their food this heats them up internally and stimulates egg production also balck pepper and chilli powder work but not as well also garlic works very well
    also these herbs are seen as effective wormers so u are killing two birds with one stone as fr the winter=less eggs i am not sure because my hens lay consistently through winter like nothing ever happend to them lol its like they dont feel it
     
  4. HiddenHens987

    HiddenHens987 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the advice! I have never heard about the spices theory so I will give that a try. I'm going to get a small florescent light to the yard today.
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    My Coop
    Not correct. They don't lay eggs while molting because they can't. Feathers are mostly protein as are eggs, it takes all their energy to grow in their feathers - they can't lay eggs too. Heat won't do anything - it's less light that triggers a molt. You can add light, but if they are molting, you still won't get eggs. After all their feathers are grown back in, they have to get their weight back up to a healthy level before they can lay eggs again.

    The timing is completely normal. I have some hens that have not started back up yet and they quit laying in mid September. They went through a really hard molt though. Average is about 3 months.

    How are their combs? If they are pale pink, they are not ready to lay again yet. If they are bright red, they are close to laying again.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Excellent post.

    They simply CANNOT lay year 'round. Especially since you chose not to light them, which is most cases, is a wise decision. Pushing them as if every day was June 21st, 365 is like making them watch Bill Murray in Ground Hog Day over and over again. [​IMG]

    With it being the first week of February now, nature is coming around. We're almost 7 weeks past the darkest day of year. By March first, growing daylight will turn on most flocks naturally.
     
  7. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The dreaded molt blues. I got em. One of my flocks averages two eggs a day out of ten. But as mentioned the days are getting longer & some of their combs are getting very red.
     
  8. ericnash

    ericnash Out Of The Brooder

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    They need 14 hours of light per day to stimulate egg production. Use a LOW wattage bulb about 15-30 watts. Too much light may turn them into cannibals. Many people suggest using a red light so that the chickens can not tell if the others are showing wounds. They will start laying in a week or two. Enjoy!
     
  9. CluckyJay

    CluckyJay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, so close to spring. [​IMG] I can't wait anymore. I want lots of eggs.


    On another note, my McMurray leghorn hen has laid nearly every day since she started laying. No additional lighting. Makes me think about getting more leghorn hens.
     
  10. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    She is, no doubt, a first year pullet? She was bred to lay 320 eggs her pullet year. Year two? She'll moult and won't be able to duplicate that fete. But, even when she comes out, she'll still likely lay 300 her second season.

    ISA Browns, the brown egg layer, can lay throughout their first pullet year, without lighting, as well. Many production strains of hatchery birds can. It is the out years where they won't be able to pull this off. Poorer laying breeds, which produce 220 eggs a year, just aren't nearly as likely to do this, even in the pullet season.
     

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