Egg laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wittiecat1, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. wittiecat1

    wittiecat1 New Egg

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    For some reason my hens stopped laying. They are from 1 to 2 years old and I haven't had an egg in 3 months. What am I doing wrong?![​IMG]
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

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

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    Welcome to BYC!
    Where are you coming in from and what breed(s) are your birds? What is your feed program? Do you use supplemental lighting in your coop?
    Given their ages it is quite likely that they went through their first heavy molt and then were impacted by the shortened hours of daylight of winter (depending on your location). A winter "lay off" is not at all uncommon for hens, especially those that are between their first and second laying cycles (the first heavy molt falls between those two).
     
  3. Chquinta

    Chquinta Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 4 hens 2 of the same breed and 2 of another how can I tell what breeds they are or if they are ready to start laying eggs. I believe they are 24 weeks.
     
  4. Ol Grey Mare

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

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    Welcome to BYC!
    I would suggest starting a thread here https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/15/what-breed-or-gender-is-this - and posting photos of your birds. We can help ID their breeds and also assess their overall cues of maturity that would indicate how close/far you are from that long-awaited first egg :)
     
  5. wittiecat1

    wittiecat1 New Egg

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    Thanks for the info. I am in Georgetown, Texas, just North of Austin. They did stop laying just after daylight savings time, so certainly shorter day's. I feed them Purina Layer feed everyday plus they free range. Not much out there for them to forage right now because of the time of year, that's why I give them feed every day in the winter. They are the age for molting also, so I guess we have a combination of events going on. How long will the molting last?
     
  6. chipahoy4

    chipahoy4 Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm from Massachusetts and have 8 hens, five different breeds. They stopped laying about a month and a half ago, due to the shorter days and they also had their first molt. I don't use supplemental light, I just let them have their winter time off to recoup. I also feed them Purina layer pellets and they get plenty of vege's, and all kinds of quality leftovers. They just started laying again about 3 days ago, got 3 on one day and 1 or 2 for the next couple days so far. Good luck
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Daylight savings does not change the length of daylight...but the shorter days/longer nights and/or molting will stop laying.

    Birds in molt and/or not laying don't need a layer feed and they do need more protein to grow those feathers back.


    I like to feed an 'all flock' 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and all molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein.

    Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat and have calcium available at all times for the layers, oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

    The higher protein crumble offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer.
     
  8. Chquinta

    Chquinta Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How long do the hens lay in there boxes a day.. My hen layed in there for couple of hours then I seen her out again but no egg.
     
  9. Ol Grey Mare

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

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    Every hen is an individual on this -- I've had birds who will walk in the hen-house, hop in the nest box and be out again (leaving behind a shiny, fresh egg) within ten minutes and others who will pace about, make a production, nest down in the boxes for a while, get out, make a production, get back in the nest, FINALLY lay an egg and then sit in there and reflect on the even for an hour or more after. Some are lolly-gaggers and others are all business with much more imporant things to do than waste any time in a nest box.
    She may have felt it was time and then decided it wasn't after all - she may return to the nest and lay later or maybe today just wasn't the day for an egg and she just wanted some quiet time in the box.
     
  10. Chquinta

    Chquinta Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok this is going to be the first egg I get so I've read that it could take a week or so before I get anything. I have 4 hens and she's the first I have seen inside the box. My red should be starting next then my other EE was just a singing so loud today while I was in there I till have 1 red that's not squatting yet she just runs away from me.
     

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