Eggs - 5 or 6 a day to none??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Troutbum67, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. Troutbum67

    Troutbum67 Out Of The Brooder

    Hi, I have 9 chickens all 1-2 years old, (3 Australorps, 3 Barred Rock, and 3 Red Sex Link hybrids). I was getting 5 - 6 very large eggs a day fairly consistantly. While working on digging my septic system up 2-3 months ago, I accidently cut the power wire to my barn and lost lights. I repaired the wire outside but haven't connected it back into the feed line yet.

    After this, egg production rapidly dropped from 5-6 a day to none. I notice lots of feathers in their coop. Could it just be coincidence or could the lack of extra light, especially at the start of Fall be causing the egg shortage and moulting? They seem happy and healthy otherwise.

    I used to leave the dim light in their coop on pretty much 24/7. (I leave a brighter heat lamp on 24/7 in winter)

    I have the wiring repaired but have not turned the light back on, how should I go about it, should it be turned on gradually increasing the length of time? I don't want to shock or stress them any more than they already have been.

    Not enjoying buying eggs at the store again.... Any idea how long it should take before they re-adjust, stop moulting and start laying again?

    Thanks
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    If they are in the 18th month old range they are probably molting. The loss of light was probably a contributor, but a bird needs to molt regardless. It is natural and healthy for them to molt. The length a molt takes depends on the individual bird. Some birds are fast molters, seemingly dropping all their feathers overnight, while others molt so gradually it's barely noticeable. Also, the older a bird gets the longer the molt tends to be. You can help them grow new feathers by offering treats that are high in protein. I would not add the light suddenly, but that's just MHO.

    By the way, if you choose to add light they don't need it 24/7, just 14 hours a day. I have the opinion that hens kept under light tend to burn out faster, stop laying at an earlier age. My birds are pets, not egg laying machines, so I don't use light. I have hens that will be 7 years old by the time they finish the molt they are currently in. I have no doubt that they will go back to laying when their molt is through. They each may only lay two or three eggs a week, but that's two to three eggs I didn't have before. My younger hens are picking up the slack in the meantime.
     
  3. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm with gritstar,
    I because the coop and run is behind a hill, must use lights eventually or have no eggs but I only leave them on of a morning. I allow a month of no light when they stop and are molting just to give them a break. Then I will be down to noooo eggs. Yikes. I hate store bought. They taste anemic to me now.
    My older hens molt longer and harder and this yr. only one of my new layers have started to lay. I sure do miss the extra eggs. I have two hens that should start anytime. I hope they will not wait till spring. My Dominique is laying but not the Del. or the Buff orp yet. All the other 12 are molting , sigh! Poor babies.
     
  4. silkymom

    silkymom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    im used to silky bantams, its been a few yrs since ive had birds, but had some sexlink hens given to me, just a few weeks ago, i was getting 6 eggs from 6 birds a day, now 2 weeks later 4 or 5, i did just bring in a young roo that they hate, and had to do bumblefoot surgery on 2 of em right away(witch went well) and one had a healing broken leg (dog attack), they came this way, they also i thought had signs of either molting or loss of back feathers from the roo they had been with in the summer? all but one are growing new feathers back, i use a red heat lamp in winter, but no extra light, i let mine stop laying till spring, well see what these girls do
     
  5. Troutbum67

    Troutbum67 Out Of The Brooder

    Thanks all for the info all. I think it best if I re introduce incadecent light gradually.

    Reference the red heat lamp, does that not have the same effect as a normal heat lamp? I just use flood lights in brooder relfectors which unfortunately, sucks a lot of power, but I have to keep them warm and the water ice free in winter.
     

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