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Crazy hens!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by amcgee1, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. amcgee1

    amcgee1 Hatching

    Oct 27, 2014
    Hi, I'm fairly new at this chicken thing....Got my 5 sextons?...something sex chickens over the summer. They have done great producing 4-6 eggs daily but since the weather change they have not produce one egg? Is this normal? We live in Indiana and we do plan on putting a heat lamp in the coop.

  2. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    You're birds are probably sex-links. You can post pics of them here to double check.

    They are probably molting. Are there feathers laying around. This time of year is when chickens generally shed their feathers and grow new ones. They stop laying during this time. Give them protein filled foods such as mealworms, eggs, oatmeal, meat scraps, quinoa, etc.

    Good luck!
  3. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Hi and welcome to BYC!
    As noted above, you likely have sex links - red sex links (sold as cinnamon queens, golden comets, red stars, golden buffs, ISA browns, etc) are most red/brown birds with white feathering that can vary from minimal to fairly prevelant; black sex links (sold as black stars, black beauties, etc) are mostly black with copper colored "collars" that can vary from fairly minimal marking to reasonably heavy spreading of the copper plumage.
    Were your birds baby chicks or mature birds when you got them this summer? That will factor into whetehr this is likely a molt related issue as at around 18 months of age hens go through the first big/heavy molt of their adult life and that can lead to a production halt. Sex links are known as egg laying machines for their first laying cycle (from onset of production at around 20-24 weeks to about 18 months of age), but during molt and for a period after production can be interrupted and the bird may not return to the previous rate of production during her next laying cycle.
    What part of the state are you in? We are down on the river. I have definitely noticed a change in production in our flock - all this year's chicks in their first cycle. We have 15 pullets and were getting 13 eggs most days once everyone got into the laying game. One of our girls recently went broody and hatched out five chicks who she is a week into raising - so she's been out of production for a little over a month now - leaving us with 14 potential layers. We are now getting 6-9 eggs most days.
  6. Toddrick

    Toddrick Songster

    Sep 28, 2014
    I'm in Indiana too. My hen laid one a day all summer but now lays about every other day and looks like she is molting. But I think the biggest change is just the shorter days. I heard that the amount of light affects their laying cycle. Plus, even when it is sunny out, it has been too windy for them to leave the coop/roost many days, so they aren't getting much sunlight. Also, I moved their coop next to the outbuilding for wind/snow protection, so they are more shaded. I am considering adding a small light on a timer just to keep them active. I won't use a heat lamp though, too likely to start a fire, and everyone says they are completely unnecessary.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2014
  7. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.

    It's pretty normal for hens to slow down or stop laying in winter or fall. They should start back up in the spring. I don't think that you should put a heat lamp in the coop. Chickens don't need extra heat in winter, and heat lamps often start fires. You can provide some lighting, however, which would likely increase their egg production.

  8. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    X2 on Wyandottes7's advice.
  9. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Good luck with your birds and welcome to our flock!

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