egg laying ceased!

Susan Houlihan

In the Brooder
Sep 25, 2020
5
42
23
I have 15 hens, no roosters. Half buff orpington, half auracana. For the last 3 weeks ZERO eggs. Half of these girls are pullets and we changed their feed from grower to adult layer pellets about 3 weeks, which I attribute to the change in egg production. But they laid eggs (the hens, not pullets of course) on this exact layer pellet feed. They have huge chx run, 2 water sources, 10 hr natural light, 6 hr light on timer in coop, not obvious molting (and if 1 or 2 birds are molting it shouldn't completely cease all egg production), they get occasional snacks and some free ranging, no predators, no illness that is obvious, only 1 broody hen who sits in nest box all day. What is the scoop? They had access to this layer feed all year but of course the hens preferred to eat the pullet feed when that was around. But now that it's gone (when pullets hit 18 weeks), they slowed down their eating on this layer pellet. What to do?
 

WindingRoad

Songster
Nov 21, 2018
1,288
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Maine
I have 15 hens, no roosters. Half buff orpington, half auracana. For the last 3 weeks ZERO eggs. Half of these girls are pullets and we changed their feed from grower to adult layer pellets about 3 weeks, which I attribute to the change in egg production. But they laid eggs (the hens, not pullets of course) on this exact layer pellet feed. They have huge chx run, 2 water sources, 10 hr natural light, 6 hr light on timer in coop, not obvious molting (and if 1 or 2 birds are molting it shouldn't completely cease all egg production), they get occasional snacks and some free ranging, no predators, no illness that is obvious, only 1 broody hen who sits in nest box all day. What is the scoop? They had access to this layer feed all year but of course the hens preferred to eat the pullet feed when that was around. But now that it's gone (when pullets hit 18 weeks), they slowed down their eating on this layer pellet. What to do?
Where are you located. State or province is all we need. thanks. You can add the location in your profile and it will show under handle in the upper left hand corner of your posts. Location can help us help you. Thanks.
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
May 3, 2009
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Welcome to BYC. Chickens hate change. The switch in feed and decreased consumption is very likely the cause of the break in the laying cycle. The older hens may be impacted by the change in natural day length, but it should have little impact on the pullets. When changing feed it is best to make it a gradual process by feeding gradual increasing % of the new feed.
 

Susan Houlihan

In the Brooder
Sep 25, 2020
5
42
23
Welcome to BYC. Chickens hate change. The switch in feed and decreased consumption is very likely the cause of the break in the laying cycle. The older hens may be impacted by the change in natural day length, but it should have little impact on the pullets. When changing feed it is best to make it a gradual process by feeding gradual increasing % of the new feed.
Thanks for info. When this years chicks were chicks and becoming pullets they had their own zone of the coop where the hens could not eat their food. As they became bigger, we put pullet food in the main part of the coop and removed the seperator so pullets were eating and sleeping with big girls. The layer feed was always accessible to layers but they prefered to eat the pullet feed. I decreased pullet feed daily for a week and kept the layer feed accessible. Now they just don't eat that much. Should I buy another bag of pullet feed to mix in to layer feed? I thought layer feed was better for them all... encouraged laying?
 

TwoCrows

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Mar 21, 2011
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