Chickens won't lay eggs

chicken mamma

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 19, 2008
97
2
39
North Texas
My chickens haven't laid since Sept 02. We ran out of food and so they we fed them cat food and fruits and veggies from the garden for about a week. Which we felt was about the same as if they were free range. But during that time they laid fewer and fewer eggs until the 2nd, we're used to having 7 eggs a day with out fail, and that day we only got one, and now we haven't had one lay since then. They went back on their laying feed on the 15th. But still no eggs. Did I damage my chickens ?!
Will we ever have eggs again? Or do they just need time to re regulate them selves? I have learned so much, but this part is new to me. Any help would be appreciated.
 

Wynette

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Sep 25, 2007
25,574
177
421
Michigan
Well...that's a whole lot of changes in their diet in a short time, so yes, it'll take them some time to "re-regulate" their systems. Sidebar: catfood isn't a good thing to feed them, unless they are molting or need the extra protein for some other reason.

Another issue is that the days are getting shorter, and chickens need 12-14 hrs. of sunlight to be in "egg lay" mode. some folks put a light on early in the morning for a few additional hours of artificial light, and they'll keep laying. I choose not to, as I feel nature's way is to let them have a rest over the winter. It's up to you on what you want to do there!

But, so long as they are eating, drinking, and otherwise appear healthy, I think it's probably not anything to worry about.
 

chicken mamma

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 19, 2008
97
2
39
North Texas
I just read something about cat food, I was told by an older friend of mine that cheap cat food was perfect for chickens and they always loved eating it. But after reading all this information...YIKES!!
They won't be eating any of that anymore. Well then now that they are back to their routine hopefully they will start laying soon.
 

Wynette

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Sep 25, 2007
25,574
177
421
Michigan
I just looked at your breeds, and you've got a few that "should" lay right through winter. Stick with cat food ONLY if they are molting hard. I love BYC - I've learned SO much from this place! Good luck, I'm sure you'll soon be seeing more little gems!
 

shy

In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 1, 2008
65
1
39
I also heard that they will stop laying if they eat fruit. That could be it too.
 

Maryallison77

Songster
11 Years
Jul 18, 2008
328
3
131
Fountain, Florida
I have read that if you feed them fruit they will stop laying. I was so worried aboutit that even before they were close to laying age I refused to give them any. I want eggs too bad to take any chances!!!
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
12 Years
Nov 18, 2007
22,478
12,960
641
Florida
My Coop
I give my birds treats of scratch, (oats, sunflower seeds, once in awhile bird seed, cracked corn etc.), in small quanities as these are treats. I also give them vegies, fruits, most everything that I can grow. I do grow a lot of corn and watermelon especially, also tomatoes, squash, root crops, the list can go on. I feed them everything except potatoes. I figure they will eat what they want. I do free range them. I have never had a problem with their egg production. I think it's just the change. Give them some time to readjust.
 

chicken mamma

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 19, 2008
97
2
39
North Texas
I guess my chickens ears were burning, the bantams started laying again yesterday. Two little cream colored eggs, we were so happy to see them. Now I dont now if these are chickens that were laying before the food mishap or chickens that haven't started laying yet, we have a mix of both. Either way, I feel better knowing I haven't damaged my poor little chicks.
 

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