Beyond frustrated.....

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by coop-er, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. coop-er

    coop-er Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 28, 2012
    If anyone has any ideas about this please help out....
    My birds are not laying.
    Large clean coop
    10 LF hens
    3 Bantams
    6 juveniles ( not laying yet)
    1 rooster (20 birds in all)
    These birds live in harmony, eat quality food, have clean water, a large, clean run, safe from predators, have 1-2 hours in the evening to free range.
    There is no squabbling, no illness, no "personality problems" . The coop has 3 nesting boxes (they generally use just one).
    This is a clean, healthy, peaceful environment and up until 4-5 weeks ago, the egg production was within normal parameters. However now I am averaging 3-4 eggs daily. I have been patient, hoping whatever the cause, it would correct itself. But now this is the norm.
    If you have any input that would be helpful, please share with me. I am stumped. Thank you for reading.
     
  2. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

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    Sounds like you have the ideal setup for chickens .

    My first question is: where do you live? Is it getting darker earlier where you are? Egg production rates will drop during the Fall and Winter months here in the US when the daylight hours diminish and pick back up when the days get longer again.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    How old are your birds?
     
  4. coop-er

    coop-er Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Two of the Bantams are about 3 yrs, and one of the LF is also about 3, but other than the juveniles, they are all 6-18 months. I understand the "older" ones would slow down, but not the rest.
     
  5. allpeepedout

    allpeepedout Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would expect 18 month olds to be molting and stopping laying this time of year, depending upon your geography / day length. Younger birds hatched early in the spring can also molt their first fall. My first flock did, at 7-8 months old. The molt may be light enough that you're not noticing many feathers.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Any bird hatched in 2014 is prime to molt now, and in my experience they don't start laying again until the following spring. They need a break from production, they don't lay year round year after year. This is when folks have to make management decisions to feed non-producing birds over the winter, or raise up new chicks to take over the slack each year.

    You can research supplementing with light to try kick-starting production.
     
  7. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    My Coop
    X 2- you *can* use supplemental lighting to induce laying during that second (or subsequent) winter cycles (most of my pullets do well that first winter - some slacking off, but still laying pretty darn well) , I'm in the 'let them have a break' camp on that.
     
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  8. coop-er

    coop-er Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in Ohio and the days are getting short now, but this started over 1 month ago, do you think that still could be the cause??
     
  9. coop-er

    coop-er Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I guess I did not think about molting as they all look the same as they always do. I have noticed more feathers in the run and coop but I thought that was just due to the activity of the birds. I suppose this may be something to consider. This would make me feel better, at least there is a reason for it, and it will correct itself.
     
  10. coop-er

    coop-er Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also am fine with them taking a break. I don't prefer to force them to lay if it goes against their nature for the time being. They are a nice flock and kind of like pets more than just "production" birds.
     

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