Feed to re-start egg laying?

Discussion in 'Nutrition - Sponsored by Purina Poultry' started by SNJchickens, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. Four of my six hens are 3 years old. One is 2 years old and one is 6 months old. The five eldest are about finished growing new feathers but I have not had a single solitary egg in 5 weeks.

    I feed Layena free-choice plus oyster shell and grit. In the morning the girls get s treat tray with scratch, mealworms, greens, bread and a bit of "whatever" such as bread pieces, pumpkin after Hallowe'en, a scrambled (grocery store) egg, etc.

    As the girls get older and the baby grows up, is there a feed solution to re-starting/starting laying? I'm about ready to drag out the pressure cooker!
  2. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Crowing

    Jan 27, 2014
    Central Oregon
    Even though your 'oldest girls' have finished their molt, this is the time of year when egg production decreases dramatically due to colder winter weather and shorter days. Add to that the fact that they are 3 years old, I fear they are approaching the end of their laying days. You should probably consider getting new baby chicks early in spring to replenish your flock...I wish you all the best! [​IMG]
  3. pinkpixybug

    pinkpixybug Hatching

    Apr 5, 2013
    Olympic North Peninsula
    I have 5 hens and also just finished a molt, all along I have been getting 1 egg a day, been thinking about the pressure cooker idea, then yesterday I awoke to 2 eggs, funny how they mess up my way of thinking, those clever girls.
  4. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Crowing

    Jan 27, 2014
    Central Oregon
    [​IMG] Chickens...go figure....
  5. DrMikelleRoeder

    DrMikelleRoeder Chirping

    Nov 3, 2014
    Before pulling out the pressure cooker, let’s look more closely at the diet to be sure your older hen is truly done with her egg-laying days.

    I am curious to know how large your “treat tray” is. To help ensure that your hens are receiving all of the nutrients they need for optimum healthy and performance, I recommend 90% of the diet to consist of a complete feed, such as Layena. I am wondering if, because of their daily tray, your hens are receiving too much of their nutrition from treats. A balanced diet ensures that your birds are receiving adequate vitamins and trace minerals, necessary for egg production. Older birds, in particular require higher levels of nutrients, such as amino acids, calcium and phosphorus.

    As birds age, their ability to cope with stress also decreases, so it is possible that it is going to take your older ladies longer to bounce back from a molt. I’d give your older hen some time yet to make sure that she is truly recovered from her molt. If she is still not laying by next spring, then it may be time to add some new members to the flock. Since you have an older flock, I’d recommend adding a few younger birds next spring to offset the likelihood that your other older birds may also soon be at the end of their egg-laying days.
  6. Thank you for the helpful advice.

    I feed Layena exclusively for the main feed.

    In the morning I give scratch (or rolled oats in the Summer) and some meal worms plus greens. The treat tray doesn't exceed 10% of the feed given to my six hens. I put treats out in the morning so the hens stay out of the coop while I clean. Since I live in a residential neighborhood I pick out the coop every day, refill waterers and give fresh feed.

    We did move the coop and run a few feet from their original site so we could build a new coop and run on the site. This is nearly done and the hens should move into their new home tomorrow (just in time since the old coop is literally falling apart!)

    Molt is over as far as I can see. There seem to be no parasites either internal or external. Oddly, my RIR pullet born May 15 has not started to lay and the older hens haven't laid a single solitary egg in 2 months.

    The hens do get free range time when I can be outdoors with them. We have a nest of redtailed hawks across the road so I must be vigilant.

    The only other thing I've noticed is that the RIR pullet has a bright red comb while the other hens have a grayish pink color.

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