Chickens laying too soon; 2 dead already - Please Help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cap_118, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. cap_118

    cap_118 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 29, 2009
    I have now 21 chickens and 1 rooster, 5 1/2 months old. They have been laying eggs (no more than 4 per day total) for about three weeks now. The Americana (aka Easter Egg Chicken) died after prolapse from laying an 85 gram egg. We lost a Leghorn to a ruptured ovum as well. According to the vet, the chickens are too young and it is the wrong time of year. We have darkened the coop as much as possible and introduced additional wheat into their diet, although I am unsure of the correct amount I should be feeding. I know to slow egg production for commercial battery chickens, the food is stopped. However, I do not want to starve my chickens. Is there anything further I may do to stop egg production until Spring. Any and all suggestions are welcome. Thanks so much!
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Wow, that is a highly unusual problem! I'm not sure what to tell you. It's almost impossible to stop a chicken from laying unless you do starve them and keep them in darkness, not something I'd be willing to do myself. Hmm. Seems they really shouldn't be dying from that unless there is some underlying weakness in their constitutions. I'd think the only thing to do in the future is to slow down their sexual maturity by feeding a lower protein feed just before laying age, say from 12 weeks till lay, maybe 15% pullet grower? That should slow them down some. Buckeye Feeds makes one of those, but my feedstore doesn't carry that product.
     
  3. cap_118

    cap_118 Out Of The Brooder

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    I started the additional wheat, omitted the wheat grass and cut the light down as much as possible and egg production has doubled! The chickens laid 8 eggs total yesterday - 3 in the morning and 5 in the afternoon.
     
  4. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    coat their wheat with cooking oil every 2nd day... not too much, justa light coat...
     
  5. cap_118

    cap_118 Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:I have heard of giving older chickens cooking oil when they reach the end of their egg-laying years to prevent egg break disease, but not to slow egg production. Will it work for both? Have you tried it personally?
     
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Oils with high vitamin E content help to "lube her up", I understand. It's not to slow or stop production, but to make it easier. It's one reason folks give the girls black oil sunflower seeds, too (those also contain Methionine).
     
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  7. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

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    My red star sex links started laying at 4 months and laid all through their first winter. I know this doesn't help you stop yours from laying, but I question that the problems are arising from being too young.
     
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  8. cap_118

    cap_118 Out Of The Brooder

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    I lost my last Americana last night about 4 hours after she laid a normal size egg. This was not her first egg, she has laid before with no complications. After she laid the egg, her vent remained open and bleeding, however the bleeding was not excessive. We tried to stop the bleeding and gave her the B1 complex from the vet, but the best we could was make her comfortable until it was over. The other chickens have been pecking each other and the rooster since the leghorn died. We cleaned the coop, in case the blood was making them crazy, separated the rooster during the day and we used pine tar on the ones being pecked. They pecked through the pine tar. I am still feeding additional wheat and keeping the coop as dark as possible, but they continue to produce 3-4 eggs per day at all times of day from daylight to dark - in their laying boxes, around the top level of the coop and on the ground.
     
  9. honeydoll

    honeydoll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, that is really sad. I am so sorry.I hear such wierd things with chickens. My hens started laying around 41/2 to 5 mos. with now probs. I have gold comets. Too bad you are having this issue, hope it resolves itself soon.
     
  10. cap_118

    cap_118 Out Of The Brooder

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    The good news yesterday was they only laid one egg; the bad news is that we lost two more chickens. These were not bleeding when I found them, just still with their head tucked under their wing. They would open their eyes if you moved them, but would not do anything but sit their in that same position until they died about six hours later. I am still giving the rest additional wheat and I have begun coating it with oil, making it as easy as possible on any still laying.
     

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