Egg Laying in the Second Winter

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BayBay Peepers, Dec 11, 2014.

  1. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    Last winter I only had Buff Orpingtons until mid Winter when I inherited some White Leghorns. They all layed straight through.

    This year I added some Black Australorp pullets. Then in Fall I picked up some older Buff Orps

    So I have young pullets, 1 1/2 year hens and 2 1/2 year hens.

    I am averaging 1-3 eggs. Mostly the White Leghorn (not surprising), but very rarely am I seeing a brown egg. I was hoping that at least the Black Australorps would be laying. I have a light and nothing is different from last year.

    Is it normal for the second winter to be pretty unproductive? And has anyone else had pullets not really lay during their first Winter?

    Another one that stopped laying even before my hens was my female duck. It's been ohhh about 2 months and there's no secret nest this time of year. (there was this Summer) She also used to lay almost daily.

    I'll add...everyone is healthy. Good food, healthy snacks, oyster shell, grit, clean environment, wormed recently, etc. etc.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Common trait. First winter pullets lay right through. Second autumn, molt. No eggs. Some birds will recover more quickly from molt than others. Each year, there will be a longer winter break but most will lay well come spring.

    Most people brag about egg laying from their young birds through winter but that's normal and then are surprised when they get a dearth of eggs next winter.

    You say good food and healthy treats but that doesn't tell us much. What is the food/treats? Layer or grower? Table scraps or scratch? If scraps are they meat/fish/vegie/fruit/grain product? What percent of total intake is the chicken feed?
     
  3. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    I was just trying to say they're not ill. They eat Nutrena all flock. They free range, but that's not good now that it's winter. Snacks are usually meal worms, sometimes lettuce or tomato or beans. Once in a while tuna or even steak depending on what we have. They have a dish of oyster shell and a dish of grit available at all times. Water gets changed daily. Coop gets cleaned weekly. Sometimes sooner when they're inside more. (like now)

    I kind of figured the first Winter would be the good one. Eggs aren't that important here we eat what we can and gift the rest. So it's not a huge deal. I was more concerned that noone is laying besides the Leghorns. They're power layers. But even they have slowed (which is ok). My pullets are not laying. I see a pullet sized egg every several days. I thought those two would lay pretty good, but I am mistaken haha

    I am not so concerned now. If this is normal I am all for it. We can be patient and wait until Spring.
     
  4. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh you asked percentage of feed. Right now the absolute majority of their intake is the all flock feed. There's nothing left on the ground for them to eat so I do increase snacks a teeny bit. I try to keep it as healthy as I can so they live as long as possible. As an example for the feed. In Summer I go through about 50 lbs for 4-5 weeks. In Winter I go through 50 lbs a week.
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Your feeding regimen sounds perfect. Eventually those Aorps will kick in. Even the older hens will kick in a month or two after winter solstice. You're pretty far north so your days are short. About a half hour shorter than ours. But that also means when they get longer, they get longer faster.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2014
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  6. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    I should have been patient. Yesterday there were two pullet size eggs. I think they're playing games on me :)
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    How old are your Aussies? My May-hatched pullets are just now starting to lay.

    I'd also wonder about the free range. The pullets don't necessarily know where to lay and you might need to go on an egg hunt.
     
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  8. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    They hatched April 14th.

    I do have a daily "Easter Egg Hunt" because of my sassy duck. One day she decided she didn't want to lay in the coop and started moving around the yard. That was in Summer and she too has ceased laying right now, but looks to be in mid-molt yet. Now the hunt is just part of the routine and though I'm sure they know of many more hiding places than I can think of I haven't seen anything yet. One good thing is when it snows they won't cross it :) so if they're laying elsewhere the area to cover will be significantly smaller haha

    If they are indeed laying elsewhere right now I'm very thankful they saved me the trouble and chose the nest box yesterday. It was so cold I couldn't bear more than a quick lap around the yard.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Did you use light last year?
    How long is the light on each day?
     
  10. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    I did use a light last year as well. It's on most of the time when it's real cold. Last year it was on a bit more because we had lots of negative degree weather. This year it started out real cold, but this past week or so has been warmer, in the 30's. So this week the light has turned off more.

    As long as this is a normal occurrence I am completely fine with it. With this only being the second Winter I wasn't 100% sure what to expect.
     

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