Been Months since we have got any eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kidd42, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. kidd42

    kidd42 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe someone can offer some help advice. We have 8 hens, all be 2 years old on March 1st. We have not had an egg since October, and even before then our production had dropped to 1 to 3 eggs a day. We are in Central Ca. in the lower elevation foothills. We had a very strange summer as it was cooler then normal for most of the summer, then we would get a blazing heat spell, then cool off to below normal. Fall was the same way. Now winter has set in, and I realize that as the days get shorter the girls lay less. But this is getting ridiculous. A week ago I hung white Christmas lights in the hen house and run with a timer to come on at 4:eek:oam to extend the light hours for them. I know this takes a few weeks for them to get adjusted again, but I don't understand the lack of eggs before the short winter days. The girls all appear healthy, are eating, and I free range them on most day's so they get fresh grass and bugs. Have tried the hot pepper flakes in the food, additional protein, Rooster Booster in their water. They even have access to the compost pile where there is a plethora of insect's, and they are eating the egg shells that are in there. So, if anyone can offer up some advise or suggestions it would be much appreciated.
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    Could be they are in molt, which stops them laying for 6-8 weeks. I have a couple in molt right now. One is unmistakable because she went half bald. The other is in a much slower molt. The only way I can tell she is in molt at all is that her comb went from red to pink and I've seen a lot of her feathers lying around - but she never loses enough at one time that the feathers look even thin, let alone bald, so just to look at her, you'd never guess she is in molt. If yours are in a slow molt, you might not see much different about them.

    Also, what breed are they? If they are some of the breeds that have been bred for egg production and they've already been laying for two seasons, they may be getting close to done.
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Chickens generally lay better their first winter than their second, from what I've read on here. I'm having much the same experience. I added light about a week or 10 days ago since they had all gotten through their molt. I've seen some increase in eggs for the last few days.
     
  4. kidd42

    kidd42 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have 1 Black Australorp, 2 Easter eggers, 2 Partridge Cochens, 2 speckeled Sussex, and a Dominiqe.
     
  5. FrenchToast

    FrenchToast "Draft Apple Ridge" a Bit from Heaven

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    Did you check for lice or mites?
    Also have they ever been treated with antibiotics for coryza, vaccinated for any diseases. I can't remember whiich disease it is but they can make a hen not lay.
    One of the vaccines can do the same thing.

    Sorry I don't remember the details ?? Just giving you food for thought.

    We were down to very few eggs and now by adding red heat lights we got our eggs went from 1 a day up to 14 today. But I'm in NE WI so I really needed the heat lights.It took our hens about a week to really get in the swing of things but I've read it can take several weeks.

    Sound like your doing everything right.
    Just thought of something else, probably not the cause but I'll run it past you anyway. Do you have a problem with rodents or other predators that may be getting into your coop and either traumatizing the birds while they're in the coop stressing them out (although I doubt that would keep them all from laying) Or maybe a Predator eating the eggs that they have layed ???? Skunk, Raccoon .........?
    Have youlooked at their vents to see if they have layed. It will look wider and moister when they are laying. Smaller and dry if they are not.

    Keep us posted on what you try, and what ended up working if you would please.

    Sandi
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  6. kidd42

    kidd42 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just went out to let the girls out of the run to free range, and lo and behold there were two eggs.
     
  7. kidd42

    kidd42 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have thought it could be lice or mites, I am going up to the feed store today for feed, so will get some powder while up there. Thanks!
     
  8. FrenchToast

    FrenchToast "Draft Apple Ridge" a Bit from Heaven

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    Congratss on the eggs !!!! See you should have posted months ago and they would have layed then !!!!

    I edited my previous reply and added a few ore suggestions so you might want to go bback and reread it.

    Thanks


    Sandi
     
  9. kidd42

    kidd42 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Sandi, I agree I should have posted this some time back. I think when I took the stew pot outside and showed it to the girls this morning, that may have been the motivation they needed. lol
     
  10. FrenchToast

    FrenchToast "Draft Apple Ridge" a Bit from Heaven

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    Oh and when my hens started laying again after increasing the light I got my first tru Ameruacan egg that I have been waiting for them to start laying. We would of had lights into all of the coops earlier but somehow we lost power to them and can't find the cause.

    Maybe that is all they needed was the light and combined with the good nutrition you've been providing they will lay.

    Just thought of something else. You said they are eating the egg shells in the compost pile. Do they have 24 hour access to calcium, ie oyster shells. You may want to provide them with that. Plus you can always feed them back their shells. Rinse them very good, put them in the oven at about 200 degrees for maybe an hour os so. You can raise the temp but watch out they burn easy. You want them to be sterilized. Take them out, cool off then I put them in my magic bullet (generic brand) and grind them into very small pieces. You don't want them to associate it with an egg to keep them from eating the fresh ones. By the way did you ever have evidence that they may have been eating their own eggs???

    Another thought came to mind when you said they eat lots of bugs !! Earthworms, cockroaches and lots of bugs can give your birds worms. Part of the whole worm life cycle.

    Ok, I'm fresh out ideas now !!! LOL
     

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