Appenzeller Spitzhaubens and winter laying habits.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by usedhobarts, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. usedhobarts

    usedhobarts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2014
    Hello all, I'm looking for a little information.

    Late Oct. 2015 I added 13 Appenzeller Spitzhaubens to my flock. 12 pullets and one Roo.

    They were about 24 weeks old. I was told they were just starting to lay. After about 5 days in the coop they did start to lay. I was getting about 3-4 eggs daily for about 2 weeks. Once the birds came out of quaranteen and integrated into the full flock the egg production remained about the same until early December when it started getting pretty cold here in Northern Minnesota. By mid December the entire flock of appenzeller's stopped laying entirely a have not to date.

    Is this normal for the breed? I fully understand winter production rates going down during the short days but none of my numerous breeds have every stopped laying completely.

    I was curious to see if anyone has experience with this breed in cold climates in the winter.

    Thanks
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Here in Wisconsin, unfortunately I can't recall last winters laying, my two appenzellers molted in the fall and one of them started sporadically laying in the last month. They seem to lay average. I have had better luck switching to a higher protein all flock, which seems to have gotten some of my birds going sooner, in the past years I wouldn't see an egg until February or March and this year they started back in the end of December, big difference.

    Another thing is to make sure they get enough water, I give mine warm water to encourage drinking as well as mixing a wet mash up with their ration. Cold snaps will halt laying too. Appenzellers are an ornamental breed so don't expect a lot of eggs out of them in general. They are really cold hardy, and great foragers.
     
  3. usedhobarts

    usedhobarts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the info. I'm using a "Kane" heated dog waterer this winter. It was a bit pricey but worth every penny and then some. Water is a none issue. My feed protien is bumped up in the winter along with fresh fodder daily. I'm certain the diet is very good.

    It must be something in the breed I guess. I have 44 layers. Today I collected 16 eggs but still none from the zellers.

    I don't mind that they're not laying I just wanted to make sure I wasn't doing something wrong. When they were laying they were segregated from the flock in a separate coop and did not have to share nesting boxes with the other breeds. I was thinking that may have been part of it but they still go in and out the nesting boxes just like the others but just don't lay any eggs. Must just be one of those chicken things and we'll see what they do this spring.

    Thanks again for the info.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    central Wisconsin
    I would suspect they will pick up by March, most of mine do, then many stop and start laying in the heat of summer. I think you're right it's a breed thing. You are doing better than me, I have around 30 layers of various ages, some ancient, I am getting about 4-5 eggs right now.
     
  5. usedhobarts

    usedhobarts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    16 eggs was strong day. I'm averaging 10 or so. The days are getting longer plus this little heat wave probably has helped. They all have been coming out of the barn and ranging in some areas where grass is showing the last few days.
     
  6. firesprink

    firesprink Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a Spitzhauben that is about 9 months old. She has never laid a single egg. We have just a small backyard flock of two Wyandottes, a Barnevelder, and the Spitzhauben. The Barnevelder and Spitzy were picked up at the same time and are about the same age (maybe hatched a few days apart) the Barnevelder is our most reliable layer. She was the only lady to lay almost daily all winter long. It's gotten warmer (we're expecting an 80 degree day on Thursday) and we are getting plenty of sunshine so we are back to getting three eggs a day. It's pretty obvious who's laying what, but we still haven't seen anything from he Spitzhauben.
    Any tell tell signs that she's going to start? She was squatting a few months back and we actually thought she was getting ready but then nothing has come. He wattles have a tendency to get darker pink but most of the time they are pretty pale. Any other clues I should look for, there's not a ton of information on the interwebs about this breed. She's a great chicken and I'm still going to keep her regardless, it would just be nice to get to see an egg from her.
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Is it possible she's hiding her eggs somewhere, they are really good at that. My two lay pretty well.
     
  8. usedhobarts

    usedhobarts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    HI, my spitzs are laying like crazy. As stated in the initial post I got a few eggs last fall. From my experience with these now it just seems like they don't lay much the first year. Once yours starts she will lay like crazy. If you free range make sure you check hiding places. It got cold here again in MN and for a couple days my zelleregg count dropped or so I thought. I had a stack of 5 gallon fodder grain buckets sitting in the corner of the barn and I just happened to walk by and notice a nice little pile of zellereggs in them. I know they were from two days worth (11 eggs) because I had just stacked another bucket two days earlier. Of the 12 I have I believe 1 or 2 just started laying as I have gotten a few pullet eggs this week. Good luck
     

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