Girls who were laying on the shortest days have stopped it maybe the feed? Please Help!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by tommysgirl, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. tommysgirl

    tommysgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2012
    I have a total of 19 pullets and hens 6 hatched spring 2012 and 13 hatched spring/summer 2013.My flock includes chicks and roosters as well so I have been feeding something they all can eat. Here is the thing, I have gone from getting 7-10 eggs a day, sometimes as many as 13 to getting 2-4

    My CA Grey is still great and I have an Australorp/American Game/?? pullet who is laying regularly too. Everyone else has dropped off or stopped completely. I don't get it. They were laying on the shortest days. I was getting 7-10 eggs a day through December. Then starting in early Jan production dropped to 5 or 6 Yesterday we had 3, 4 the day before that and 2 the day before that [​IMG]

    I had switched feed at the end of Dec/First of Jan from Bar Ales Multi use poultry pellet which has GMOs to the BarAle GMO free turkey and gamebird grower crumble so now I am wondering if the drop in production is related to their feed. I had 13, 2013 girls who were laying in Dec. now only the two I already mentioned are consistant. The other 6 girls are 2012 and between molting and brooding I have only had between 2 or 3 of them laying throughout the fall and winter, so I guess the question is why are my younger girls taking a break NOW?

    Here is the nutrition information for the new feed: They have free choice oyster shell on the side and shell quality is good on the eggs that I collect. In addition they range nearly every day sometimes all day sometimes for just a few hours.

    Protein 22% I know this is high but my girls aren't fat. I feed the grower b/c I can't have a high calcium feed
    Lysine 1.3%
    Fat 4%
    Fibre 11%
    Ash 8%
    Calcuim 1.2
    Phosphorus 0.6%
    Sodium max.4%

    Here is the link to the PDF for their former feed: poultry pellet.pdf The new feed has more Protein and Lysine, is the same for Fat and higher for fiber and Ash. Their droppings are overall nicer on this new feed Phosphorus and Sodium are both lower and the new feed has no Selenium.

    Am I being silly to even wonder why girls that laid through the shortest days would take their breaks as the days got longer? Or do you think I should switch back?

    Thanks in Advance!
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Are you sure they are eating the new feed like they should? Has anything else changed, lighting, they had anything stressful happening? What breeds are the ones that are slowing down, are they ones you would expect to be consistent layers? the CA Grey is a production breed and a lorp X should be pretty good also.
  3. tommysgirl

    tommysgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2012
    Thank you for getting back to me. I think they are eating well. They are going through it pretty rapidly and they swarm and chow down every morning when I add to their feeders. It is dark brown though so when it spills it is sometimes hard to see (for me not them) what is food and what is dirt

    My older girls 5/2012 are all hatchery: Australorps, Delaware, and Red Stars. Though they have slowed down from a year ago when they were daily the RS girls were still laying pretty much 5-6 days a week until about 3.5 weeks ago. The Australorps have been broody/molting so they are off the hook and my older Del girl does OK but also just came off a molt

    The young ones who haven't been laying well/at all are:
    Chocolate Barred Rock Breeder Project 6-7 now 2-3
    Speckled Sussex: Hatchery was about 4-5 now 2-3
    Dorking: Breeder was giving 4-5 a week none for two weeks
    Dorking Polish Cross Breeder 5-6 a week none for about 3 weeks
    Icelandic Breeder one who only laid about 5 times the other had been laying for weeks 4+ a week now 0
    EE 3 @ POL all hatchery two different lines one line both were laying 3-5 times a week till this month now they are bothy laying about 2-3 the other stopped laying in Nov
    OE...Crele Penedesenca over CL breeder was pretty much daily now 0

    I don't use lights and there have been no stressful changes. They have a pretty relaxed life large pens etc [​IMG] I am in CA so the weather has been unusually mild and sunny. I am baffled.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Are they free range, maybe laying somewhere else?
  5. tommysgirl

    tommysgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2012
    They do range but mostly not all day. My young pen esp I kept in until early pm most days b/c I have Icelandics and they are notorious egg hiders, still I have hunted for hidden nests and not found anything.

    But get this...yesterday there were 8 eggs. I ran out of acv around new years and then got sick so I just got more last weekend. Maybe that and whining about it has caused them to turn the corner.

    My DorkingxPolish made her first contribution in weeks Both Red Stars came through so did one of my Dels my SS and an other two usuals laid as well. :)

    Thanks I hope the trend continues and improves and will update if it doesn't.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  6. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    Isn't that funny I had the same problem [​IMG]
  7. tommysgirl

    tommysgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2012
    has it improved at all? I hope yesterday was not a fluke and instead was the start of serious laying. Also looking forward to broody season round here [​IMG] but hope there will be lots of eggs around here to hatch AND to eat.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by