2 year old chickens not laying~ Help~

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mjohnston1204, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. mjohnston1204

    mjohnston1204 New Egg

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    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!
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    What are you feeding them?
     
  3. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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?
     
  4. mjohnston1204

    mjohnston1204 New Egg

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    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
     
  5. kaylamarie87

    kaylamarie87 New Egg

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    Sep 10, 2013
    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.
     
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    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.
     
  7. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't dunk them in ice cold water. Cruel and definitely won't jump start them into laying again.[​IMG]

    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.
     
  8. mjohnston1204

    mjohnston1204 New Egg

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    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?
     
  9. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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?
     
  10. Bill Matthews

    Bill Matthews Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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
     
    CharlotteChickk likes this.

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