Chickens stopped laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jjdent, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. jjdent

    jjdent Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2013
    Rustburg, VA
    I have 5 red sex links that were laying 4 or 5 eggs per day starting the day I brought them home. Not sure how their previous owner was feeding them, but it did seem they had a feeder. I've been having my other chickens forage mainly, but feed them briefly twice per day by hand. Not much, though, as I want them to forage as much as possible. I have nine hens altogether that are laying age, but none of them are laying right now. The others that are of laying age have never laid for me, and I wonder if it's because I've been under-feeding them. They forage very aggressively all day long, but after a while it seems almost frantic. The five red sex links I got reduced their laying to 2 per day for a few days, then none at all the last 3 days. I imagine it's due to under-feeding. I'm wondering if anyone has any insight they could share with me. I just introduced a feeder this morning, and they ate a lot, then relaxed for quite a while, and ate some more, then took a communal dust bath and seemed a lot less active then usual. They did, however, spend some time foraging, but seemed a lot more agreeable and relaxed. I'm hoping the feeder will bring back the eggs from the sex-links.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    You may want to increase available feed now that it is becoming colder - less natural feed available and caloric demands are higher. It is not unusual for hens to lay for a few days after being moved to a new home (those eggs were 'in process' when you got them) and then to stop laying for a period of time. Chickens hate change. I would recommend feeding extra every evening to assure that your flock is getting enough to eat.
     
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  3. mithious

    mithious Chillin' With My Peeps

    X2 in the winter time they need quite a bit of extra feed. I feed mine scratch late afternoon, to heat them for the night and also provide feed at all times. They are from a spring hatch, so were in the grow out pen for the summer, but when I did let them out...just one time...they foraged just fine and didn't go back in the coop to eat, even though they had free access to do so.

    From what you wrote in your post, it sounds like they were starving!
     
  4. jjdent

    jjdent Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2013
    Rustburg, VA
    Thanks all. They do get along great with the rooster, which I guess they have going for them, and he has mated with 2 or 3 of them. But the large hen who knows she is top banana (she's the largest, but the youngest, and was raised alone with the rooster from birth until they joined my flock) seems jealous of the new-comers and is a bit aggressive toward them. The rooster seems to like them more, though, I guess because they are a bit older and are already laying. After eating from the feeder today, though, they seemed to get along a lot better. I'll see what happens tomorrow.
     

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