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Did I get tricked?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Toril, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. Toril

    Toril Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 16, 2010
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    I have read the sticky article on low egg production and can't figure out what's going on with mine. They are not molting, they have ample space, lots of food (layer pellets), water, extra light, etc. I would have thought that perhaps I got sold old hens... but the few I had, are not laying anymore since I got the new ones, either!

    I do see that the new ones pick on each other somewhat. I sprayed a couple with BluKote - they had been picked to the point of bleeding in a spot or two. I need to go over them again, but they're hard to catch in the spray - even in the dark with a flashlight.

    [​IMG]

    More suggestions?
     
  2. dandelionheart

    dandelionheart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 15, 2010
    Lafayette, Indiana
    Wait and see... half of our hens aren't laying and they aren't old either. We have light, pepper, etc... going. [​IMG] I think it is pretty normal.
     
  3. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

  4. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All hens will take production breaks even if lights are utilized.

    Personally, I do not use lights. I allow my hens to lay in a more natural cycle which helps them stay health and live long productive lives.

    Why do you want to burn them out? If you want winter eggs then I suggest you obtain some breeds that lay well in the winter without lights.
     
  5. Toril

    Toril Out Of The Brooder

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    The hens I have, were supposedly hatched in the spring of 2009. I got them in October 2010, and they've been very poor layers from the first day. At most, I now get 3 eggs per day from 10 hens - most of the time, I get 1-2 eggs. This seems very low even considering we're going into winter... The main reason I have a light for them, is so the water won't freeze at night.
     
  6. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:What breed(s) are they? That makes a BIG difference, too. I have some that only lay for about 6 weeks out of the year (and that's not daily, that's like 3 to 4 eggs per week for 6 weeks). Others I have lay about two or three times per week and do take a month or two off during the coldest weather. I don't add any supplemental lights (my heat lamps are red) because I like them to cycle down and concentrate on survival rather than reproduction when it's below zero. This also helps save their egg-laying longevity--as hens only have so many eggs they can lay in their lifetime. [​IMG]
     
  7. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Might depend on what breeds you have. Some are just not great layers.
    I have 3 older hens and am getting maybe 2-3 eggs per week. And I'm pretty sure the oldest hen is not laying at all. Hope it picks up for you.

    Imp- planning on getting a couple pullets next spring.
     
  8. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So you are keeping these lights on all night?
     
  9. Toril

    Toril Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 16, 2010
    Virginia Coast
    The 8 new ones are RIRs - the ones I had already (3), were a mix of cochins and ameraucanas. The oldest hen (Teresa, a pretty cochin I have posted pictures of) has 'retired', I think, but the younger two were still laying until recently.

    The coldest it gets at night here, is about 25, so they're okay in the hen house. It's just an inconvenience if the water freezes overnight in the rim around the dispenser. In November, I put a red heat lamp up for the winter, but it wasn't that cold and they seemed to get agitated by it. I switched to a daylight lamp that comes on early with a timer, because we didn't always let them out until closer to 9am, depending on who is home. Then hubby thought it was getting cold and took my timer and daylight bulb down and put in a clear heat lamp, which I don't agree with, because now they have light on all night and I know that would make me grumpy for sure!

    We need to find a solution to give them a little heat so the water doesn't freeze, but that it's dark overnight and only daylight from early on (4:30am?). They tend to go in quite early, way before dark, and the light could keep them happy on dark and rainy days when they don't go out at all. I come from Norway, so I know all about the need for theraputic light to combat winter depression!
     
  10. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Take the light out.

    All animals need rest.

    It only gets down to 25F and you are worried about a little freeze? lol.

    Change the waterer to a bucket of some type. Easier to break the ice. Don't fill it all the way to the top and then just add a bit of water to the top of the ice each morning. It works just fine.

    By the way, I have near 400 birds most on individual tie-cords or in brood pens. I water them all twice daily: summer heat and winter cold. I work 10-12 hours every day at my job. You can do this.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010

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