Another not laying thread - but perhaps a bit different?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bebey, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. bebey

    bebey New Egg

    Sep 14, 2012
    Okay, chickens (approx 30 of them, mostly barred rocks with a few Americaunas) are all now approximately 1 year old (we got them when they were 5 months old and not yet laying). Once they started laying, they did fabulous for quite a while (3-4 months). At that point, they got avian pox. We did not lose any, but it took a couple months before they were fully recovered, at which point they promptly went into a molt. That was 2 months ago. So for a total of almost 4 months, they have not laid any eggs with one odd exception. A month ago, one or two of the Americaunas laid 4 eggs total, then it stopped again.

    We have looked everywhere to be sure they are not hiding them, but even if a couple were, they all used to lay in the boxes and I doubt they would all suddenly go hide them in the woods on some commando mission. :) The chickens are completely free range having access to almost two acres of land which they roam far and wide on. It has been a hot summer (Austin/Bastrop Texas area) which I know can slow egg laying, but friends of ours with almost identical flocks had their chickens continue to lay through the summer (with a small reduction in eggs) in very similar conditions (and one of those flocks also got avian flu at the same time ours did, but there flock has been laying for almost 2 months now after recovery.)

    The chickens have ample fresh water available everywhere and we have also increased added food and decreased food to see if either had an impact of which neither did. We put fans in the coop and it stays quite a bit cooler in the coop with the fans and insulated roof, but they only go in at night or on particularly hot days.

    They seem very happy, alert, and active, eating well, running around and doing what chickens do. Just no eggs.

    I'm getting closer to culling the whole flock and starting over but that is kind of pricey, and considering they are young, I hesitate to do that.

    Thoughts? And thank you!

  2. ButchGood

    ButchGood Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2012
    Central Texas
    I thought my girls were laying in the boxes. I was getting eggs, but not as many as I thought I should be getting. In one day we found 6 in the greenhouse, 15 in an overgrown part of my vegetable garden, and 17 behind my shed in a narrow stretch between the shed and the fence.
    Your problem could very well be heat related along with still recovering from the flu. Id give them another month. The temps are going down and we are getting a little rain. This may help. If they don't get back to laying by mid October I would then seriously consider starting over.
    Ive been raising Australorps and Buff Orps and they have just started laying this year. The heat didn't seem to bother mine much. I have 12 layers and I'm getting 7 to 9 eggs a day. Good luck with yours.
  3. bebey

    bebey New Egg

    Sep 14, 2012
    I was hoping to get a few more ideas. Everyone on vacation? :)
  4. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    Heat will put some birds off laying. Then as you know, molting, etc. Now that they are a year old, they likely won't lay well once the days get shorter. Like now. That could be what's going on. I had some last year that didn't lay for the longest time because I think their bodies were recovering from the adverse effects of the extreme summer heat plus they were a year old and so won't lay well anyway in the winter. Thankfully this year the temps weren't over 110 (for 60 days in a row!) and so they didn't suffer as much.

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