Are they done for good !!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mracey, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. mracey

    mracey New Egg

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    Nov 26, 2011
    I have been reading a lot of the posts & replies on the forum about culling older or unproductive hens. The one thing that i'm having trouble finding out for sure is that when a younger hen (1-3 year old) has stopped laying & her pubic bones have closed up (1 finger or less) & are stiff, is she done laying for good, as in going thru menopause, or can they open back up, become pliable again & her start laying again? I have mainly 1-2 year old heavy breed girls that have been through a very,very hot summer. It's been 3 months & only about 1/3 are laying now, most have closed up pubic bones & appear to be done. One older lady that has raised chickens all of her life told me that I had might as well cull them because the extreme heat does somthing to some hens that will cause this situation & if their pubic bones are closed they are finished laying for good.
    Has anyone got first hand knowledge of this. I would hate to cull them if they will come back into production. Any help would be really appreciated!
     
  2. farmerChef

    farmerChef Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Usually hens stop laying in the fall/winter and molt(grow a new set of feathers). My white leghorn only stopped laying 13 days, but all the others are now at 3 months(slackers [​IMG] ). Some hens will start back then they finsh molting, and some will not start again until spring. Chickens can live 7-9 years, but usually the hatchery birds live 4-6 years because they have been breed to produce lots of eggs younger and more months of the year.
     
  3. mracey

    mracey New Egg

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    Nov 26, 2011
    Yea, I know about the moulting, winter months, & reduction in eggs, but I'm really wondering about the pubic bones, & the general signs that a hen has possibly quit laying for good.
     
  4. MassivelyScrambled

    MassivelyScrambled Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm certainly no expert, but I'd find it hard to believe that your hens are only laying until 1-2 years old. I've rarely had a hen that didn't lay at least 4-5 seasons if healthy. Our current backyard flock has one hen who is at least 6 (maybe as much as 8 years old...my GF cant remember the exact year she hatched her) and she laid like crazy this summer after taking December - mid March off completely. I thought she might be done, but then she started ramping up again this spring and was good for 6 eggs a week. I wouldn't rush to cull them if I were you.
     
  5. mracey

    mracey New Egg

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    Nov 26, 2011
    I agree that they normally wouldn't. But I'm wandering about the extreme heat that we encountered this summer & the fact that their pubic bones are closed, some less than 1 finger wide.
     

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