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Does pumpkin equal "no eggs"??

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by JudyMcKinn, Dec 2, 2007.

  1. JudyMcKinn

    JudyMcKinn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2007
    SW MO
    I have 9 Wyandottes in about a 12 X 24 ft pen with a coop. 4 are Golden Laced Wyandotte pullets, beautiful, large birds in great condition, that I bought at a swap meet a month or so ago. the guy I bought them from said he got them as chicks at Cackle hatchery, and that they had been laying about a month, at that time. (Also in the pen are 4 pullets and a rooster that are Silver Laced Wyandottes that I bought at Cackle as chicks, and they are 4 1/2 months old. Not laying yet. About 2/3 the size of the Golden. But I digress.
    the 4 Golden laced have been laying 4 eggs just about every day--I was so proud of them. About a week ago, they stopped laying, and I haven't gotten an egg from them since. They aren't molting, nothing has changed, EXCEPT a friend gave me about half dozen pumpkins when they took down their Halloween decorations, and I chopped one in half and left it in their pen. They LOVED it, and pecked it all out, even eating most of the outer rind. So I chopped another, happy that they were enjoying them so much. (My main laying pen, who are 2 year olds and molting, so aren't laying either, won't eat pumpkin.??) Anyway, so their layer pellets are still there, but they probably have been eating a pretty good percentage of pumpkin in their diet the last week or 2. Do you suppose the pumpkin caused them to stop laying?? It's the only thing that is different--they aren't old enough to molt, nothing has scared them, etc. Besides their layer feed, I usually tossed in a little cracked corn--maybe a teaspoonful or 2 per bird, per day, but have been doing that all along. Temp. was 64 at 8 a.m. today, but is down to 44 now, at a little after 11, but we haven't had any very bad winter as yet. any ideas? should I make sure not to give them any more pumpkin, or did I overdo it, or do you think it is something else entirely. They still look great, seem happy, etc.
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    How old are they, Judy? I have some that were hatched back on Feb 1 this year. They are technically not old enough to do a true molt, but I swear, about four of them did. And I mean they quit laying entirely, one for six weeks, one hasnt laid in two months and another hasnt laid in about a month. They lost some feathers, but not enough to really see them molting except just under the jaw area. It was so weird, but a definite molt. My original flock didn't do that at this age and they are in their first real molt, some are finished, some in the middle of it. This entire year, starting with an odd late spring freeze, then that horrible summer, has thrown alot of things off kilter, IMO.
  3. Smitty's Farm

    Smitty's Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2007
    St Clair County, Il
    Could it be they are not getting the required amount of light, since they need 14 hrs for laying? It's getting dark here around 5 pm now, so we are only getting about 10 hrs. I've seen a drop in production of mine also.
  4. jeaucamom

    jeaucamom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2007
    Ophir, CA
    I remember a thread a while ago that talked about fruit stopping egg laying. I know pumpkin isn't a fruit, but I do think what they eat effects their laying. And especially if they went from eating no pumpkin to eating lots of it in a short period. Doesn't sound unreasonable to me.
  5. JudyMcKinn

    JudyMcKinn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2007
    SW MO
    Thanks for your replies. Speckled, I got them about 2 months ago,and the guy said they had been laying about 5 weeks at that time. And they don't seem to have lost a feather! And, they just STOPPED, they didn't ease off, like as if it was the winter. A couple weeks ago they were laying 4 eggs most every day, then suddenly nothing. Not a slack-off, just nothing!
    Smitty, I don't think they would have stopped that suddenly if it was just the darkness, would it??
    Jeaucmom--I am glad you have heard something about this. It is about the only thing I can think of. I am going to stop with the pumpkin and see if anyone will start again. Discouraging, to say the least, so hopefully they will start again. My main pen is 2 year olds, and they are molting, and haven't laid for 2 months. All their feathers have grown back, and I have a timer on a light in there (just for 2 days now) comes on at 4 a.m. We will see if that jars them loose in there. LOL Thanks, guys. And if anyone has any other suggestions/comments, I would welcome them.
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    My Blue Orp had only been laying about two months when she stopped for six weeks. After a couple of weeks of wondering what was wrong with her, I picked her up and looked closely at her. She was missing feathers just under her ear area that I couldn't see till I got really close to her. It was a weird early molt, just like several others her age did in my younger flock. Very strange to me, but each of them quit laying and a couple still aren't.
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    They have lots of oystershell or crushed eggshells or whatnot available to them, do they?

  8. JudyMcKinn

    JudyMcKinn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2007
    SW MO
    Yes, oyster shell and grit offered free choice, in one of those double dog feed dishes.
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Oyster shell won't have anything to do with whether or not they lay, just what the shell hardness is. It's so frustrating when they just quit on you and you can't figure out why.
  10. johnnyjack

    johnnyjack Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 21, 2007
    wifes grandpa always said never feed watermellon or pumpkin to chickens.he said it would get packed in thier nostrils and make them sick.????
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2007

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