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anyone else having this problem?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chicknmania, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    All of our hens have quit laying. I mean, we had a very cold spell in late September, early October, and a lot of them were molting, so I wasn't surprised, then. But now we have had a week or more anyway of beautiful Indian summer weather and before that the weather moderated for a couple of weeks, you'd think at least some would be laying. And we had a longer period of daylight savings time, and a lot of sunshine. We have never had them quit laying this early in the year, usually they slow down and then stop in December. They are predicting a very cold late November and early December here, I wonder if the chickens can sense this? They have been on layer feed for a month (they are free range). We don't believe in using artficial light to extend laying. Is anyone else experiencing this? I just used up the last of our eggs, and dread buying them at the store! :| Our hens seem to lay based on temperature as much as light as one warm fall and December a few years ago, they bombarded us with eggs all the way through December! They are also mixed ages, so, as I said, at least some should be laying.
     
  2. Pumpkinpup

    Pumpkinpup Poultry Princess

    Jul 16, 2008
    North-West Georgia
    I too have had hens lay all the way through winter before but this year I have had them go through a very intense moult and they are not laying [​IMG] Most of my birds are too young to lay but those who are old enough are not laying.
     
  3. cqranch

    cqranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes I am having same issue to some degree. I have 33 at 6 months or little older and around 25 over 1 yr of age. That's around 58 birds of laying age and have only been getting 3-4 eggs a day. Those mostly coming from my 6 month old Buff Orps, they lay at least 2 a day.
     
  4. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    It been strange to say the least lately, although we are going through moult here at the moment.

    All my white egg layers have stopped laying, including my leghorns who usually lay every 3-4 days even when moulting.

    I have 28 hens of laying age and I'm getting 3 eggs a day!
     
  5. Maidservant

    Maidservant Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Norwich, Norfolk, UK
    If you want your girls to lay during the cooler (and darker) months, you'll need to add supplemental light. I have a light in my coop that comes on at 1 am right now and my girls have begun laying again. I have 15 hens, 3 of which are broody, and one is coming out of a molt. I was getting 2 eggs per day before I added the light, now I'm getting between 7 and 8 per day.

    Hope this helps,
    Emily

    PS - Here is another thread that you might be interested in reading: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=101378
     
  6. ella

    ella Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't add supplimental light either- too many problems! Picking, fighting and horrible health issues. Not worth it for my pets. [​IMG]

    I wouldn't doubt they can sense the coming weather conditions, but just to be safe it's a good idea to do a general health check.

    Check crops, bellies and poo, and check for mites and lice. I don't know about you but fall is the worst for parasites, as the wild birds form flocks and prepare to migrate they end up in the trees around my run and I see a lot more health problems in the girls. [​IMG]

    I just love having the flock, I learn so much more about what's going on in the natural world. Let me tell you a hawk doesn't fly by without the girls telling me all about it! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2008
  7. Maidservant

    Maidservant Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, the only time that we've had problem with light is if it is left on all night and they don't sleep. They get to sleep from 5:30 pm until 1 am, definately longer than they did during the summer (they didn't go to bed until 10 and were up at 2 anyway). I have three seperate pens, with one having a run that is about 20'x30'. One has my extra roos in it (no fighting amongst them), one has my breeding set of RIR's for now, and the other has everyone else plus three ducks. I'm using a spiral florescent bulb for now, since they don't get hot and my girls love to sleep up against the roof, silly things. My light goes out about 10 am, so it's only on for 9 hours. They go to bed when dusk comes, generally between 5 and 5:30.

    Emily in NC

    With that being said, if you don't add supplemental light (it is your choice, I'm not telling you that you must do it), you'll have to deal with fewer eggs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2008
  8. ella

    ella Chillin' With My Peeps

    That's great if it works for you! Everyone's flock is different.

    I ran into more problems the second year with a huge increase in egg binding and other reproductive problems.

    Forcing their bodies into continual production when they would normally be resting can really stress them out both physically and apparently mentally, my hens sure went mental! [​IMG]

    Giving them time to rest and molt naturally has just worked so much better for me. They're really ready for the cold and snow when it comes. Because the weather can be so extreme here, they're in much better shape when they aren't in production.

    I don't mind getting less eggs if it means the hens will be around longer. [​IMG]
     
  9. Maidservant

    Maidservant Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Norwich, Norfolk, UK
    Very true. All but 8 of my chickens (and ducks) are this years chicks, and those 8 were probably hatched out last fall. I'll probably taper their days down around January or Febuary. I'm hoping to have quite a few chicks by then and I won't want to gather eggs three times a day, lol. It hardly ever stays below freezing for more than 2-3 days at a time here, and we rarely ever get snow. It stays in the high 30s/low 40s the whole winter here. Still too cold for me most of the time, lol.

    Emily in NC
     
  10. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    I like to follow what nature does, also, I just think the birds need time to rest and recoup too, even though I hate buying store eggs. It is odd that there seems to be a pattern, that's what I wanted to see. This is just a weird year altogether here in Ohio, we had a terrible growing season for most of our garden produce.
     

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