Girls quit laying @ 8 months old...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Vanislandchick, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. Vanislandchick

    Vanislandchick Out Of The Brooder

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    May 20, 2010
    Vancouver Island
    Not sure what to do. I have a group of birds that I selected for breeding this spring. They were laying so-so when I moved them into their breeding group (I was getting 2-3 eggs a day from 5 hens). They continued to lay for about 3 weeks, then right before I was able to begin collecting for hatching, they stopped collecting. Zip. Zilch. None. Nadda. We are looking at a month now with no eggs from this pen. There is no where they could hide them, either, so that's not the issue.

    They are in a suitable sized tractor, eating fresh grass, breeder ration, scrambled eggs on occasion and black oil sunflower seeds. There is 1 roo and 5 girls, and the roo has a puppydog personality, he doesn't harass the girls non-stop.

    So, I feel like giving up with these birds and getting out of this breed completely. I like their appearance, but am not in love with their personalities. They have always been flighty and standoffish. They have never been a STRONG layer. I don't expect to make millions of dollars from my chickens but when they are young healthy chickens not even laying an egg I can eat, how long do you keep feeding them for!? I have other heritage breeds that lay me an egg a day!

    My main reason for hanging on to them is that I have had a lot of people wanting chicks and eggs from me of this breed. I don't know if I can attribute their lack of productivity to winter, or what. They are in a run that gets a LOT of natural light, the same amount of light as our laying hens that lay an egg a day.

    What would you do?
     
  2. bluere11e

    bluere11e Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2011
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    Hmm,
    First question is what kind of chickens do you have? I know some breeds tend to quit sooner than others and have a longer winter/moult period. Typical heritage breeds tend to not be "production" type birds that lay 280 eggs a year and late in the fall into early winter. If you want high production.. Choose a production RIR, California, Leghorn, Star cross or something that was bred for a lot of eggs. In my opinion, these don't always lay well or even look well in their later years and don't seem to have a long life span.
    I have Marans and Welsummers that quit long before my RIRs and black stars do. They seem to start later in the spring than my production birds.
     
  3. Vanislandchick

    Vanislandchick Out Of The Brooder

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    May 20, 2010
    Vancouver Island
    They are barnevelders, and have been laying through the worst of our winter, only quit now. We do have ISA's for producing eating eggs. I understand that they don't lay as well as them, but not laying at all is not great!
     
  4. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

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    Are they possibly going through a molt? This would explain why they are not laying.
     
  5. Vanislandchick

    Vanislandchick Out Of The Brooder

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    May 20, 2010
    Vancouver Island
    No moult. Pristine feathers, shiney as can be. They don't have parasites. They ARE hens and not roo's. *sigh*
     
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Chickens go through a 9-10 month old mini-molt. Usually, it's not that noticeable, but on occasion, they will stop laying for a brief period. Barnevelders aren't fabulous layers anyway--can't lay every day and maintain a super dark egg.
     
  7. Vanislandchick

    Vanislandchick Out Of The Brooder

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    May 20, 2010
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    So don't give up is what you are saying.. lol...


    I just feel the emptyness in the egg bucket each time I walk by their pen...
     
  8. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

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    Are they in molt?
     

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