Chickens not Laying in Florida

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by The French Hen, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. The French Hen

    The French Hen Tres Chic

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    Are there other Floridians out there who are experiencing the problem of your chickens not laying eggs ?

    I have 13 chickens I got on March 3, 2011 they were born March 1st. 5 or 6 of them started laying eggs the last 2 weeks of July, which I am told was early for them to start laying that they usually don't lay until 6 or 7 months old. Those 5 or 6 were not even 6 months old but they were laying just fine. I was get 5 or 6 a day then in August I was getting anywhere from 5 to 7 a day and continured to get 5 to 7 a day until about September 9th..it slowed down to 3 or 4 for about a week then went to 1 or 2 then 1 and now for the last 10 days I have not gotten any eggs.

    I was told to change food from Layena to Layer crumbles...I did

    I was told to add a light to the hen house because they need 14 hours of light a day to lay eggs...I did...but it is not a really bright light...maybe it should be brighter.

    I talked to the lady I buy my eggs and chickens from and she said she is experiencing the same problem and that a lot of her customers are calling her with the same problem. She told me not to worry about it and they should start laying again soon.

    I have talked to several of the feed stores around me and they said they have not heard of anyone not laying right now and they are the ones who told me to switch food and add a light.

    I just don't understand. First of all 7 had obviously started laying and now have stopped the remaining never did start laying and they are all now 7 months old.

    Am I doing something wrong ?

    Is there anything else I can do to get them back on track ?

    Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated.

    Respectfully,
    Pat
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Chickens are never going to lay 6 eggs a week all year, or rarely. This is the time of year they tend to slow down. I don't live that far from you though and I am getting probably 4 eggs a week from each one, on average, less than prime laying time. One stopped laying a few weeks ago. If she is moulting it is a light molt, so I'm not sure what is going on yet. Any stress will stop them for a while -- getting frightened by a predator, new loud noises, a move, even a change in the coop. Sometimes people have an egg thief they don't know about, like a snake, or a hen is collecting eggs in a hidden spot, if they are "free range." Here's a good thread about this:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=423023
     
  3. riane'smimi

    riane'smimi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    People here in Virginia are having the same problem.My hens will start to lay for a few weeks then stop for a month or two.Then they will lay for a few weeks then just stop.It's not just my birds but alot of my friends have been having the same problem. My hens just turned a year old this summer .They eat good,always have water so that's not the problem.I am wondering if it's not caused by them taking the animal protein out of their feed and put soybean in it instead.
    Now my silkies are the only ones laying. I have been feeding them gamebird feed which has animal protein in it .I thought I would try it just to see if it would help as they were not laying either. I have been feeding it to my standard birds now for a week ,still no eggs but the birds look really good.I hope it helps as there is no sense having chickens if you only get a handful of eggs a year from them.
    I had been feeding them laying crumble "Layena" BOSS ,and some scratch.Osyter shell always in the pen.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  4. Capvin

    Capvin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First, I think that it is important to know what breed of chickens you have as different breeds lay differently. I live in Florida and we have just about the same climate and light as you have. I have 6 red sex links and they lay about 6 eggs per day, sometimes 5 but never less. The feed is important (layers pellets or crumbles) but I do not believe that would be the most important reason for them to stop laying. Do they seem like they may be beginning to moult (lose their feathers) as they stop laying for a while at that time? As for light, if you are supplementing their light it does not have to be a bright light. I have a 25 watt bulb that is timed to come on in their coop at 5 AM right now. Do not put a light on in the nighttime hours, always try and increase the light from the morning hours. Otherwise I would just be sure that they are getting proper food, lots of clean water and keep checking them and I believe they will start to lay on schedule once again.
     
  5. Capvin

    Capvin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    PS to my previous reply: Also, where are your chickens housed? If they are confined to an area then you should be able to locate their eggs. However, if they free range they could be laying somewhere outside and you should search the area. Also, as was said, look for a snake in your coop.
     
  6. The French Hen

    The French Hen Tres Chic

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    Tarpon Springs, FL
    My chickens are not free range.....

    I have 4 astrolopes..(sp) 2 sexlinks...5 Rhode Island Reds and 2 Plymouth barred Rocks

    all of these are just 7 months old as of October 1st....not all were producing to begin with...now none are producing

    I did add a light but I was increasing the light hours in the evening I will now not do that...I will have it go on at 5 am instead and then just let it get dark naturally.

    I have checked their inside and outside area very throughly seveal times a day...actually I a obsessed with it...so if something is getting in there they are getting in then out very very fast because I am down there evey hour or so and sometimes even more frequently.

    I also have 3 new chickens added in a separate area on September 10th...these chickens are about 3 months old...actually there were 4 but one died...of what I don't know my guy tells me malnutrition but we keep chicken feed in there at all times and change the water daily and I throw down chicken scratch every day and a couple times a week I give fresh vegetables or pasta or rice

    I feed layer crumbles.

    I am wondering that since I added those other chickens if that upset the balance of things but that has been over a month now but that is about when they started slowing down and then stopping all togther...but as I said...I have 13 chickens and the most I was ever getting was 7 eggs so apparently not all of them had even started laying yet ...

    I AM seeing a lot of feathers laying around but none of the chicken look bald or anything they all look pretty good as a matter of fact. I have been catching a few everyday and looking thru their feathers to see if I can see bugs or anything and I cannot...

    I go down and talk to my girls all the time so this is upsetting that all of a sudden the few who were laying are no longer laying....

    Everyone just keeps telling me to just wait they will start up again ...so I guess that's all I can do...

    I can only hope the light helps...
     
  7. kizanne

    kizanne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2011
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    I don't know if this helps but I do live in florida - Tallahassee north of you guys.

    My chickens are laying fine. fine being 10 for 11 and 9 for 11 most days. They did slow down meaning 7 and 8 for 11 those 3 drizzly wet days we had last week.

    I got mine in Feb.
    I don't use a light.
    They have a run and go out when they want.
    They free range 2 hours a day
    They have a organic broiler crumble with free choice oyster shell.

    I have no idea why they stopped laying. But I'd try a protein boost like meal worms, ground hamburger, bugs or some such.
    Have you recently started giving them more treats.

    It takes protein and calcium to make an egg.

    BUT>>>> like I said not an experienced chicken person no idea why they stopped but I gave you my experience here in north florida.
     
  8. The French Hen

    The French Hen Tres Chic

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    Jul 31, 2010
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    Thanks Chillin

    I got mine in March so mine are a little younger...

    I didn't use a light until 2 days ago

    Mine too have a run they can go out when they want

    I don't free range because way too many predators here

    I use layer crumble and I use oyster shell as well

    I also give them cracked corn every day.

    Maybe I should let them free range.....I wonder what would happen....would they take off and leave..? If I open the coop door and just let them out a few hours a day but then how would I round them up again to get them back in ?

    Sounds risky...but if they are not happy being cooped up all the time....maybe I should.
     
  9. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    Specifically what brand of layer crumbles are you now feeding and what is it's protein content? The tag on the bottom of the feed bag will have the nutritional info.

    The days are growing shorter, but for for seven month old birds this should not significantly slow their rate of lay. Using a light in the morning can be a good thing. Have it come at a time that it and the natural daylight will total about fourteen hours. Let it grow dark naturally in the evening so the birds will know when to go to roost.

    If the layer crumble you are feeding is only 15-16% protein I'd cut out the scratch feed, pasta, and rice altogether. It is only serving to dilute their protein intake. Green feed in the form of young, green grass or leafy green vegetables are a good thing. Feed them regularly.

    If we have a severe cold snap throw down a handful of scratch per bird in the mornings. Otherwise they need to get their calories from their balanced feed. That and the additional light should bring them back to their best rate of lay for their potential. Some of your birds may well not be old enough to lay yet.
     
  10. Nava

    Nava I Got The Naked Neck Blues

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    Ocala Fl
    some of mine are doing good and others did slow down a bit.

    BLRW are slow I get 3 or 4 eggs out of 8 hens

    Orps I get 3out of 6 hens

    NN are doing good, I've reduced the size of my older hens and now I have 4 adults and I get 3 eggs from them
    and the pullets are just starting to lay and every other day I get 4-5 eggs

    and I got 20 more that will start to lay hopefully next month.

    the ones that are not laying much are molting.
     

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