2 Year Old BSL Hen stops laying for 6+ months at a time

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mrskenmore, Oct 11, 2016.

  1. mrskenmore

    mrskenmore Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 21, 2014
    Hi All,

    Any help you can give me on this subject would be really appreciated!

    I have a 2 year old BSL hen that always stops laying from August-March. Last year when it happened I figured it was because she was doing her first slow 18 month molt. But then I realized that she wasn't even molting- she didn't drop 1 feather until closer to the winter. I have ruled out most of the other obvious non laying causes, predators, stress, secret nest, mites and lice. Her two siblings my BR and EE are laying nicely with the obvious ebbs and flow of the seasons/molt and I am starting to wonder if she is either egg deficient or if she is not getting enough nutrition from the feed? (is every hen built different?) I was thinking of switching up her diet, they currently get an organic non soy (which I know that causes limited production in general, but if the other two are laying at a good clip- why wouldn't she?) pellet food for layers. I provide calcium and limited mealworm treats 3-4 times a week. They get veggie scraps 3 times a week as well. They are by no means eating more treats than food. Every now and then she will lay in this slow period (once every 6-8 weeks)

    Thanks for any / all advise as to how I can get her laying more naturally- would hate to find out she is nutrition deficient.
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Her vacation from laying is a bit extensive. BSL are bred for a productive laying period, then they often succumb to some sort of reproductive disease. You might try giving her supplemental light. If you do so, be sure to start slowly, adding 1/2 hour/week until you get up to a total of 14 hours (sunlight + supplemental light in the coop) It may be time to cull her and get some chicks in the spring. If you do so, and want layers that will produce over a longer time period, stay away from the production and sex links.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I think she is laying 'naturally'.....
    BSL are a hybrid, cross bred for generations to lay lots of eggs the first year or two,
    then they can slow way down or stop altogether.
    The fact that she laying at all seems like it would preclude any disease.
     
  4. mrskenmore

    mrskenmore Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you-

    She is the alpha female flock leader of the group and loved dearly by her feathered and non feathered family, so we would never cull her because she stopped laying. All of her other vitals are great- healthy comb and waddles, bright clear eyes, glossy black feathers. Maybe she just doesn't want to lay lol! I don't really blame her. I am going to up the nutrition in her feed and see if that makes any difference.

    Has anyone ever had an alpha female stop laying because she thinks she is the rooster of the group?
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I don't think that chickens 'think' about whether to lay or not....
    ....even if they did, their bodies dictate that function just like us human females ovulate, or not, whether we want them to, or not.
     

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