Flock up and stopped laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by houdinimyhoudan, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. houdinimyhoudan

    houdinimyhoudan Just Hatched

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    Aug 12, 2016
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    I got all 9 of my lovelies just over a year ago and they have been a joy, both entertaining and providing me delicious eggs. Now come February they suddenly decided to seize laying. I live in Colorado and we had a VERY mild winter and they produced all winter with the exclusion of 2 , only two chickens molted in nov (from what I'm told it is abnormal timing as they were only 6 months), now the same 2 chickens molted again now in march and April. We also have a habitatual brooder, that we finally believe we broke of the habit 2 weeks ago (fingers crossed [​IMG]). The girls are on high protein & calcium layer feed, get fresh water, greens , and access to "free range"(within limits) -
    I have checked all spots where they may lay on their free range frolicks, nope nothing...
    Anyone have any ideas what I need to be looking for? Or be doing?

    Thank you
     
  2. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Di you have light at night?That can cause nolting and egg laying problems.

    Some may be at point of lay.
     
  3. houdinimyhoudan

    houdinimyhoudan Just Hatched

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    Aug 12, 2016
    Colorado
    No, no light at night
     
  4. houdinimyhoudan

    houdinimyhoudan Just Hatched

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    Aug 12, 2016
    Colorado
    There's a tiny night light in there
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    What does that mean?
    Limited area?
    Part of every day or all day?

    Just because you didn't find a hidden nest, doesn't mean there's not one out there....I'd lock em up for a week.
     
  6. houdinimyhoudan

    houdinimyhoudan Just Hatched

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    Aug 12, 2016
    Colorado
    They are only out about max 1-2 hours a day 3-4 days a week ( they have a large run), most of the time I see them foraging in the pine cones at the front of the house. We have kept them in for a week and nothing but 2 eggs....

    Now is it usual for chickens to molt in spring time? I think another one is starting to molt
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Ah so locking up probably wouldn't do any good.....unless they have a really good hiding place in that large run, they are stealthily sneaky.

    I've had birds molt in early spring....after being under supplemental light all winter.

    I'd check for bugs and laying status.


    Have you checked them over real well for mites and/or lice?
    Best done well after dark with a strong flashlight/headlight, easier to 'catch' bird and also to check for the mites that live in structure and only come out at night to feed off roosting birds.
    Wipe a white paper towel along the underside of roost to look for red smears(smashed well fed mites).
    Part the feathers right down to the skin around vent, head/neck and under wings.
    Google images of lice/mites and their eggs before the inspection so you'll know what you're looking for.

    If you do find some...check out this thread:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1134783/permethrin-spray


    Vent Appearance:
    Dry, tight, and smaller - usually not laying.
    Moist, wide, and larger - usually laying.

    Pelvic Points, feel for the 2 bony points(pelvic bones, 'F' in diagram) on either side of vent:
    Less than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means not laying.
    More than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means laying.
    (Spacing is relative with chickens size and humans finger size.)
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    If your birds are molting , put them on Nutrena Feather Fixer feed. it's excellent for bringing the birds through the molt. they may even lay through the molt . the new plumage is just beautiful. I used it on my flock on the advice of another by BYCer and was amazed at the results!! it's a great feed good for birds over 16 weeks old .
    FYI, one of the University's post on their poultry website that you only need 10 watts or 20 watts per ten square feet to encourage egg-laying during the dark months.
    Best,
    Karen
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Too much calcium for molters IMO
     

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