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Frustrated with my pullets

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dwdoc, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. dwdoc

    dwdoc Songster

    Dec 13, 2010
    Seffner, Florida
    Hello all,

    I have four Australorp pullets, they are ten months old. They gradually started laying in July; first one then the others slowly to lay.

    I know all four were laying (two almost daily and the other two one or two a week) because each seemed to have distinctly different egg (smooth shell, lighter in color, etc...).

    In early September they suddenly stopped laying (all of them); this lasted for about two to three weeks. Within the last week, I believe only one has begun laying again.

    There are no signs of illness, they all eat like food is going out of style. They are fed Purina Layen Feed (at will), black sunflower seed in the morning and now that it starting to cool off here in Florida they are getting Dumor Scratch in the evening.

    I am at a loss and am wondering if I got some lazy birds or if they are genetically defective.

    Now I am debating whether I should introduce them to my freezer and start over or be a bit more patient.

  2. Cluky

    Cluky Songster

    Apr 13, 2012
    well there are several things that can contribute to this. moulting and shorter days for example... so introducing tem to freezer and starting over, you will hit same next year...
  3. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Crowing

    Jan 25, 2008
    Northern KY
    Chickens do tend to slow or stop laying when the amount of daylight is reduced this time of year. One thing you can do is add light to their coop/pen so they are getting about 14 hours of light per day (adding it in the morning, not evening, works best.)

    Also, it's possible you may be lowering the protein too far with the scratch and the sunflower seeds. 16% Layer pellets are formulated to provide basic, but the minimum nutrition for a flock. Personally, I prefer to use an 18% flock raiser for layers, and one that contains animal proteins as well. Chickens need animal protein, and this time of year there are fewer or no bugs or lizards to eat, so it's up to us to provide it for them.

    There are a number of ways to include animal protein into your chickens diets:

    - Find a feed that includes it, like Purina's Game Bird feed line
    - Add in some cooked ground beef or raw trimmings from your local butcher shop if you can get them to give you some
    - Add in a small amount of high quality, non-poultry based cat food, such as Evo Herring and Salmon dry cat food: http://www.evopet.com/products/1431, which is about 50% protein
    - Add in some catfish feed pellets, which are generally about 35% protein.
    - Add some 30% Turkey starter mixed into your regular ration.

    That, plus adding light to the coop as described above, should bring back the laying.

    Last resort, sprinkle a small amount of cayenne pepper on their feed, which will warm up their reproductive systems and kick start the laying again. But that should be done very sparingly.

    Good luck!

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