4 out of 5 chickens not laying currently - do I stop feeding them layer food?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by curiositykt, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. curiositykt

    curiositykt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    2 of my chickens haven't started laying. ...33 weeks :(
    1 of my chickens is kinda molting so is not laying
    the other 2 chickens seem to be trading off who lays that day due to sunlight hours.

    Should I stop feeding them layer food and just have calcium available if needed? I don't want them getting impacted or prolapsed or what ever horrible thing might happen to them if they get too much calcium. (I have upped their BOSS intake due to winter and the molting)
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Yes, too much calcium can cause problems. You can switch them to flock raiser with oyster shell on the side. They will help themselves to the oyster shell as/when they feel they need it.
     
  3. curiositykt

    curiositykt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They've been having layer feed since about 16 weeks, do you think that the feed might be why the two slackers haven't started laying at all yet?
     
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    I honestly can't tell you. Switch them to the flock raiser and oyster shell and give them time. This is a time of the year when hens slow down in the laying department, as you've noticed. Maybe some extra light will get them going? Some breeds are also slow to start. What breed are the non-layers?
     
  5. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    They won't get too much calcium by keeping them on layer feed. If that was the case, all of the roosters, eating the same feed, would have problems.

    Personally, I would keep them on layer feed to help replenish the calcium mobilized from their bones during egg production.

    I know of no recommendations from feed companies to switch layers to a different feed ration during off season.

    BTW, oyster shell is fine as a supplement but is no substitute for calcium contained in the feed. Oyster shell is hard to crush and dissolves very slowly in the gizzard. As a result, the calcium is released slowly and is not a very potent source.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
  6. curiositykt

    curiositykt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the Easter Egger - molting
    one Silver laced wynadotte - not laying
    one Golden laced wynadotte - not laying
    and the other two wynadottes (silver and golden) are intermittently laying (as expected)

    I'm not giving them extra light as I want them to live longer, I'm ok with those two not producing every day, though I'm sort of annoyed that the easter egger decided this was the time to molt as well. At least she's molting slowly so I don't need to make her a sweater!

    I'm mostly worried about my two late bloomers.
     
  7. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    One of the mysteries of the chicken is that some seem to choose the onset of Winter to molt [​IMG] (at least mine do)

    Calcium is not just for eggshell development, but also plays a large part in muscular function and bone maintenance. I contend that you will have no problems with the late-layers on layer feed.

    Not to jinx it, but some hens never lay, or lay internally. Bad genetics or defects...
     
  8. curiositykt

    curiositykt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, I keep expecting them to just up and die because they are internally laying, but their combs haven't matured either, so I think they just aren't ready (and may never be!) I'm hoping that once the daylight gets longer again they will get the message... But we are already planning on getting three more to round out our numbers in the spring. Probably all easter eggers - ours is a champ when she's not molting!
     
  9. citychickx6

    citychickx6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am confused a bit. Are they all 33 weeks?
    If so isn't it a bit early for any to molt?

    Either way I would not switch feed. I agree that if a rooster can eat it and not have issues than so can hens that are of laying age even if they are not laying.
     
  10. PAchickengirl

    PAchickengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I expected my hens to lay around 24 weeks so I started giving them the layer feed then. They took at least 6 more weeks to get started, and didn't seemed harmed by it at all. They have nice thick shells, even on their very first egg.
     

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