Changed diet to higher protein to stop feather pecking, now no more eggs!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Dogheart, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. Dogheart

    Dogheart New Egg

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    Hello all, I recently increased the protein in my hens diet to try to stop them from feather pecking ( I had read that it might be a protein problem). I went from layer feed(16% protein) to game bird feed (22% protein) and mixed the two together for approximately a 19 to 20% protein content. Only one of my hens was laying eggs as the other 4 are still too young I think. The feather picking seems to have slowed, but my only layer has stopped producing. My 4 younger girls are now around 22 weeks old and should begin laying soon I hope, but it's getting closer to winter and the days are shorter so that may play a part. I just put lights in the coop and have started turning them on, but still no eggs. Has anyone else tried higher protein feed and noticed a problem with egg production?
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    I would bet you are just a victim of coincidence. While the strangest things can upset chickens and make them stop laying, if you are mixing the food and If the chickens are eating the new feed, it shouldn't make her stop laying... or you have one fussy hen. How old is your one that was laying? The time of year it is, a lot of chickens are going into molt and stopping or slowing down laying anyhow. :welcome
     
  3. Dogheart

    Dogheart New Egg

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    I'm not sure how old my one hen that is (was) laying as I got her as a rescue, but I'm guessing around 2 years old. What got me wondering is that her egg production just stopped all at once. Before this past week, she gave almost an egg a day, and would only skip a day at most before laying her next egg. It's been about a week now and she's not laid one egg.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I feed a higher protein all-in-one feed all the time and my hens lay normally. Normal laying includes stopping for the winter, which is probably what your older hen is doing. I also believe it's just a coincidence as to the timing. I have 2 dozen hens and was getting 16-20 eggs a day until a few weeks ago, when *bam* down to like 6 a day, over the course of less than a week.
     
  5. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    It sure sounds like she is in her first hard molt. Are there a lot of feathers that look like hers laying around in the pen? A chicken in molt is a sick, achy, sore, unhappy bird that only time can cure, and she may not lay much if any till December or January depending on her age, her breed and her diet between now and January.
     
  6. Dogheart

    Dogheart New Egg

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    Jul 15, 2013
    Yep, I'm starting to see many of her feathers around so she probably is in molt. She seems to be acting fine other than that. I was worried that perhaps she was egg bound or the diet change had caused a problem, but she's running around with the other girls and eating just fine so I'll just keep an eye on her. The other pullets should be getting to the point where they begin laying soon I hope. I miss the fresh eggs! :)
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I hate that point where you have to buy both chicken feed and eggs [​IMG]
     
  8. PheasantsFirst

    PheasantsFirst Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've heard that if you suddenly change your bird's food suddenly, they may stop laying while they get used to it.
     
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  9. aggiemae

    aggiemae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you are in the northerner hemisphere and you don't live very live far south pullets that haven't started laying yet might not start until the days start getting longer again in spring.
     
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  10. so lucky

    so lucky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To the original poster: Do you still have a feather pecking problem, or do you think it was just the one girl molting that made you think someone was pecking the other ones?

    Just for the record, my girls aren't laying at all right now, either. It hasn't been a productive year for them. Seems like it is either too dark, or too hot, or someone is molting. Very few days this year that I got an egg from all four on the same day. I am getting ready to put a light in their house, hoping that will help.
     

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