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chickens haven't layed in 4 months

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 1muttig, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. 1muttig

    1muttig Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2013
    Lexington, sc
    Hi I have 4 orpingtons, 1 wyontotte, 2 Rhodes islands and they all stopped laying this past September when they started molting. They finished molting and it is now January and they have not started laying again. It has finally turned winter here in Lexington, SC and yet Sept through Dec has been really nice weather. It hasn't been that cold here until a week ago. Last year they went through molting and started laying again until it got really cold. The reds are 4 yrs old and the buffs are 3 yrs old. Can anyone tell me what's up? Thanks so much and God bless you all. BG
     
  2. austrolover1

    austrolover1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, stopped-egg-production could be the reason of many things. As chickens grow older their molting periods increase a lot! Are your chickens free-range?

    God bless you too![​IMG]
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    The older they get the longer it takes to get started again after a molt, and eventually they will stop totally. I would make sure you are feeding a ration with enough protein to get them through the molt and to resume laying, 18-20% is best.
     
  4. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That sounds pretty normal for older hens. Each year they take off more time from egg laying and lay fewer eggs.

    I kept one of my buff orpingtons until she was 3 1/2 years old to track egg production in the 3rd year. After taking several months off for the fall and winter, she produced a grand total of 44 eggs during her 3rd year. During that year (i.e., when she was 3 years old), she only produced eggs from March 4 to July 26. I culled her that fall, as it wasn't cost-effective to feed her for so few eggs. These results are only for one BO, so there will be some that lay better than this and some worse than this by the time they reach 3 years of age.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
  5. 1muttig

    1muttig Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2013
    Lexington, sc
    Thank u for ur answer. My chicks have a large fenced in area outside and they have a large hen house also. I love my chicks and hope they will return to laying. I can't find the heart to eat them if they aren't going to lay anymore. But if I let them out to free roam then they'll become dinner for the hawks in this area and they tear my gardens up. How old do they live? I just don't know what to do. I appreciate all the help u could give me. Thank u and may u have a blessed day given by Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.
     
  6. 1muttig

    1muttig Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2013
    Lexington, sc
    Hi and thank u for responding to my post. I feed my chicks organic feed from tractor supply. I also give them a couple times a week, some dried mealworms and shelled sun flower seeds. When it is cold at night I give them some scratch in the late evening before they go in for the night. I also give them greens everyday. Thank u for ur help. May u have a blessed day given by Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    Most of my chickens will die between 4-8 years, about half will pass around 4 and the other half will go on for a few years, with one going here and there. I don't remove my old chickens either. Your hens will probably start up again in the next couple of months, most start by March, though yours will probably lay less eggs that are bigger at their age.
     
  8. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Kalispell MT
    Most chickens will live from 8-10 years, although a few have been known to get much older. That's a long time to feed them as pets. If you have the room in your set up I'd suggest you plan on getting a couple new pullets every couple years so that you always have eggs.
     
  9. Bugseye

    Bugseye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    On another note, I thought my 21-month-olds had stopped laying; this would have been the fifth day without eggs. Then as I bent to check the back corners, I glimpsed their secret: a half-bag of wood shavings stowed on an unused nest box. They had wriggled in there and in complete comfort and privacy left 13 eggs. Who knew?
     

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