Am I expecting too much too early? (eggs)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jBlaze, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. jBlaze

    jBlaze Songster

    Oct 25, 2008
    We have 11 young hens (and one young roo). The youngest was hatched in October, the oldest is less than 2 years. We get between 1 and 3 eggs a day.
    We live in Oregon, so it is cool and dreary here, They stopped laying in December when we got a storm. Since then I have adjusted the flock a bit, selling a few older hens, and buying two pullets.
    They have an outside run 8x24 ft and the coop is a converted tuffshed. The shed was 8x10 and feed goes in the front 3.5 feet and chickens have the back 6.5 feet. We put in a window, there is insulation, plenty of roosting space and 3 nesting boxes.
    We are feeding layer pellets, available at all times. I toss out oystershells into the run whenever they use or burry them.

    WHY?? Are we not getting more eggs??!!

    Am I expecting to be getting eggs too early in the year? Am I doing something wrong? I don't really want to put a light in the coop, I would think they have enough, the window is on the south side.

    They are:
    Buff Orph
    Black Austro
    Black Star
    Silver Wynadot
    2 Barnevelders
    2 RiReds
    speckeled don't know
    fat white don't know
    Oct chick of fat white don't know.

    I know some get eggs all winter, but for those that took a few months off, when do they really pick up again??
    Thanks for any ideas. [​IMG]

  2. Hens_And_Chicks

    Hens_And_Chicks Songster

    Feb 23, 2009
    I've talked to a couple of people who have fed a cup of catfood to their chickens daily and it jumpstarts their laying mode. I have not done this because my pullets are young and I have not had issue with this.

    You could try that - it's my understanding the higher protein assists the laying mode?

    Also - the number of daylight hours affects the laying cycle - chickens need at least 14 hours of daylight. You could put a light on them.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2009
  3. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara

    Oyster shell and grit should be made available at all times to your birds, they will know when they need it and when they dont.

    Feeding cat food is controversial to alot of people, and while it is high in protein and can be used (to those that agree with it), it should not be used daily nor often. If your chooks are getting a good quality layer feed, they should be getting all the protein they need in that. You can also supplement thier diets with fresh veggies, fruit, whole grains, oats, grass, etc.

    If you're not sure what snacks you can give them, please do a search on the forum and look for Buff Hooligans list on approved snacks for chickens.

    It sounds like your birds are missing something in order to lay as they are certainly in the laying stage if they are 2 years old and under. Are they in a molt by chance as well?

    It could be any number of things..but my guess is these are some of the top ones - including not enough day light as the previous poster stated.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2009
  4. West Central MO

    West Central MO In the Brooder

    Jan 29, 2009
  5. jBlaze

    jBlaze Songster

    Oct 25, 2008
    So, then Is Feb in Oregon not light enough?

  6. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    For Oregon Webfeet . . . umm, light may vary.

    Let's say you live in Salem. You are right at 45° North latitude. You are quite a bit farther north than Portland . . . um, Portland Maine.

    On December 21st, you were not getting 9 hours of sunshine. Now, you are up to right at 11 hours between sunrise and sunset.

    At eleven hours last Fall, I turned the light on in my coop.

    I'd say that you soon will get a response from increasing daylight with your hens. But, if you have grown impatient waiting and waiting - a light in the coop may be the answer.

    who grew up in Oregon and then went west, south, north, and east - pretty much, in that order [​IMG].
  7. jBlaze

    jBlaze Songster

    Oct 25, 2008
    digitS' :

    On December 21st, you were not getting 9 hours of sunshine. Now, you are up to right at 11 hours between sunrise and sunset.

    Geeze, here I am just happy to have more sunlight, I had not realized that it was still that low! lol. [​IMG]

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