Chickens not laying eggs for long time

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by flashback, Oct 25, 2016.

  1. flashback

    flashback Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2014
    Hello,
    I have 15 chickens. A mix of barred rocks, Reds, and Ameraucanas. They are all now 2 years old. We use to get about 15 eggs per night even during winter because we have a light that comes on to simulate daytime and a bit of heat. At the end of last winter the egg laying slowed down during the summer a lot. Maybe 3 or 4 eggs a night and then it went down to 1 or 2 eggs in June and no eggs from our Ameracucans at all since that time. Now for the last few months, nothing at all. The reds look like they may be moulting a bit still and one of them is broody. We have had to break her a few times of it already. One of our reds got sick two weeks ago and was losing her balance. I looked in this site and found she might have been eating or drinking dirty water. We always gave our chicks scraps from our garden. Tomatoes mostly. I read that rotten tomatoes could cause issues. So I medicated them for 6 days per the antibiotic in the water for e coli? not sure if that is spelled anywhere right. My little sick girl drank a ton of medicated water, I separated her from the others by closing the door to the built on chicken run. That night she actually put herself to bed and we had to hand wrangle the others into bed. The next morning she was out with the others eating and drinking but a bit wobbly still and by day three she was back to normal.

    Now we have tried increasing protein a few months ago, cameras in the coop for predators, clean the coop every week and water every other day. Nothing is getting them laying eggs again. I have watched for cannibalism and nothing. The food is still the same, they eat about 2 to 2.5 cups a day between them all. I started feeding them on the ground instead of a trough. Just don't know what more to do. Any ideas?
     
  2. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi. [​IMG]

    Chances are they won't start again until spring once they've molted. [​IMG]

    I have read claims that both red and black pepper increased (water consumption) egg production significantly. I haven't tried it yet, but all who did said it worked.

    For me EE (sold as ameraucana) were inconsistent layers and 2 of my BR already quit for the winter during their first year.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2016
  3. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

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    Hi there! Sounds like you are at your wits end, and I would be too! I asked a moderator to move this to the egg laying page, you might get some slightly more educated help there. It is odd that they are all not laying at the same time, if something were wrong such as egg hiding or molting, I do not think all of them would have not been laying for so long. A chickens egg production like starts to slow down around 2 years old, but you should certainly still be getting at least seven or eight eggs a day. @EggSighted4Life, I did not know that about pepper! I'm gonna have to try that!
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    First the basics.
    How big is your coop and run, in feet by feet?
    What and how exactly are you feeding?
    How do you manage your supplemental lighting....per 24 hour period ...and throughout the year?

    The antibiotic will likely preclude you from eating the eggs anyway....usually for about 8 weeks.
     
  5. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Also, I try not to medicate for what I don't know.

    And I don't know how a chicken who dips it's beak in poo all day could get e coli from a tomato. [​IMG]
     
  6. flashback

    flashback Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2014
    I learned that tomatoes that sit too long or bird droppings in the chickens water could cause many issues here on Backyard Chickens and luckily I treated for it because my little girl who was almost dead is up and running with the others again. It is called Sulmet. Treats many things.
     
  7. flashback

    flashback Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2014
    I have two coops. The main coop is a small room that is 8 feet long by 6 feet wide and 8 foot tall. It has five perches running the 8 feet length on one side, the other side has 12 individual boxes for egg laying. The boxes are kept full of hey or wood shavings or straw. The chicks knock it out a lot even with a retainer board running in front of each box. Attached to the coop is a enclosed run we built when our girls were young to keep the hawks from taking any of them. It is 15 feet by 34 feet and is a large walk in space with chicken wire covering the entire structure. there is a walk in door on the end of it. that gets opened in the mornings at sunrise and then the chickens have free run of an area of about 1/8 acre.
    I feed my girls using a gravity feeder and they use to love it. But I like to feed them now by hand twice a day. I feed them about 1.5 cups feed at each feeding and put in meal worms, sunflower seeds and pellet and crumble feed with oyster shell. I do this twice a day they seem to enjoy the scratching and eating like that. It also gets them eating some of the contractors sand that makes up for part of the run. I heard that is good for digestion.
    I try to manage the lighting to produce 12 to 14 hours of light a day. So a timer comes on about 5am and shuts off at sunrise. Then it gets dark here now at 6pm. So they are getting about 13 hours total light a day.
    I knew that the antibiotics might have stopped the egg laying. And it might indeed be causing issues now. I had hopes that maybe with the one girl getting sick, that she was just displaying the symptoms for all the chickens. And maybe it was an ongoing thing that went without noticing. All my girls seem to have a kick in their step now. When they were younger, they would come running when I was outside. I realized they stopped doing that until they got the 6 days of sulmet. Now they all are running again like youngsters.
    Again, I appreciate everyone's ideas and assistance. Thank you

    First the basics.
    How big is your coop and run, in feet by feet?
    What and how exactly are you feeding?
    How do you manage your supplemental lighting....per 24 hour period ...and throughout the year?

    The antibiotic will likely preclude you from eating the eggs anyway....usually for about 8 weeks
     
  8. flashback

    flashback Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2014
    Thank you and the pepper idea. I appreciate the information from most of you here.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    The antibiotics doesn't stop the bird from laying, but the drug can be in the eggs and you may not want to eat them.(I wouldn't).
    That they perked up after having the Sulmet does not define what disease they might have had....or if it will come back.

    Hard to know if that mix of foods is supplying all the protein, vitamins, and minerals need to be fully productive.

    At 2 years old, they may be getting ready to molt this time of year, despite the lighting.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Meny73

    Meny73 Just Hatched

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    Jun 9, 2016
    I have 20 hens and one rooster. 10 of my hens were laying eggs the other 10 were new so they never lay eggs. 2 weeks ago they stoped complitly . I put a red light for warm and an outside light with timer that's on at 5. In the morning and stops at 8 and then turn on at 6:30 and is off at 8:30. They have layer Mach with 20% calcium, clean water and I let out at 6 and they go to the coop by them self I don't know what else I can do to have them lay eggs again I spend a lots of money on them, but no eggs [​IMG]
     

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