chickens boycotting eggs??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ther00ster'scr0w, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. ther00ster'scr0w

    ther00ster'scr0w Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Bay Area CA
    I am a new BYC user and have been a proud chicken owner for 6 months now since June.
    My chickens were hatched in early June, and I am only certain of 4 of their breeds-2 ameraucanas, 1 Buff Orpington, and 1 barred rock-all hens. These four a purchased from a local feed store as chicks. I got seven other mixed breeds with one mother hen from my uncle, and out of the seven 4 are roo's.
    Now, in the past 6 months or so that I've had them, the mother hen from my uncle has laid two eggs, about 2 months apart, the others have not laid any eggs. Is it still too early? Could the winter season have anything to do with it? Their diet? They are kept in a coop, but about once a week I let them free range under my protection, so they do have a variety in their diet. Any info will be great!!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    First, welcome to the forum. Glad you are here.

    It is highly likely the winter weather is stopping the older hen from laying. After their first year, most hens will molt in the late fall and reduce laying dramatically until the molt is over. With some hens, this can take 4 months or more. You can expect her to restart laying in the spring. It does depend some on where you are also.

    Sometimes pullets will lay through the fall and winter, especially if they start to lay just before the weather turns bad. Sometimes the cold weather and shorter days will prevent them from starting to lay until spring. It can depend on the breed somewhat also. Different people have different experiences.

    Mine were hatched mid-May. My first one started laying at 18 weeks, two more joined in at 20 weeks and two more at 23 weeks. By 27 weeks all I kept were laying. For full disclosure, I did process several of my pullets and I processed the ones that were not laying so my statistics are tilted. I started with 23 and now have 9.

    With yours, they could start any day or they could wait until spring. I would feed them layer feed so they have the nutrients they need and make sure the nest boxes are open and fake eggs are in the nests to show them where to lay. And I'd make sure they are not hiding a nest from you. That has happened.

    Good luck!
     
  3. ther00ster'scr0w

    ther00ster'scr0w Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Bay Area CA
    Thank you very much for your information!

    The oldest hen does seem to be back in her laying stage but I feel comforted that there is nothing wrong with the other hens, being a newbie to chickens and all.
    Thanks again
     
  4. bills

    bills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 4, 2008
    vancouver island
    ther00ster'scr0w :

    Could the winter season have anything to do with it? Their diet? They are kept in a coop, but about once a week I let them free range under my protection, so they do have a variety in their diet. Any info will be great!!

    Do you have a light on in thier coop to extend the light hours? If your keeping them inside an unlit coop, other than letting them out once a week, they are not getting enough light to stimulate egg production. I would put a light on in the coop, starting with about 10-12 hours a day, then slowly over two weeks increase it to about 16 hours a day. You should start seeing more eggs soon after that.

    The hens should be fed a layer diet of a minimum 16% protien, as well they should have crushed oyster shell available. If you keep all the birds in the same coop, I suppose they will all get the layer feed, although roosters sure don't need it..might fatten them up a bit though..[​IMG] Make sure they don't get to much scratch or that will limit the hens needed protien intake.

    HTH:)
     

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