Good Advice to get hens laying after they've stopped.......

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BANTAMWYANDOTTE, May 9, 2011.

  1. BANTAMWYANDOTTE

    BANTAMWYANDOTTE Chillin' With My Peeps

    530
    11
    121
    Mar 2, 2011
    Kentucky
    I HAVE COPIED AND PASTED THIS A LOT SINCE I FIRST WROTE IT SO I THOUGHT TO AVOID COPYING IT AGIAN I WOULD POST IT IN THE FORUM AND ONLY HAVE TO POST A LINK TO IT. I HOPE IT WORKS FOR YOU TOO


    "The only hen that will lay an egg is a happy one." My Veterinarian




    This is a piece of the best advice ever given to me. My friend , the vet, gave me this wonderful advice and it applies to all breeds and types of chickens. These steps will help re-start and maximize egg production from your hens. You can expect more eggs per week from young hens (less than three) and fewer eggs from older hens (fewer eggs per year of age). Also understand that this only works on chickens that are healthy and parasite free (make sure they are before trying this).


    When my six Red Sex-Links stopped laying I asked the vet why this was. Being an old friend he came by an inspected. He found nothing wrong. He then noticed how they all appear stressed. He said often chickens in coops with wire around them are visited by local predators (possum likely) and that eventually that predator would get in. He advised that this may or may not be the case but said that when my chickens, for whatever reason, felt threatened or stressed, they declared the remaining nests and coops in there original spot as an unsafe spot to raise young, so they stopped laying. To protect their young form predators, they even would quit allowing the rooster to breed in some cases.

    This is his advice for correcting this:

    Before anything remove the rooster because he could be the cause of the stress. Roosters can over-breed hens and cause them stress. Also the presence of a rooster causes hens to establish a "pecking order" that causes the more aggressive hens to establish dominance over the submissive hens. If the hens lay immediately after he leaves them, then you need a new younger rooster that is a nit smaller than the original one.

    IF NOT,
    Still keep him separate from them.

    Allowing hens to roam free is not really a problem for me. If your girls are roaming free lock them up because they will find a new place to lay, that they consider safe. I moved ALL the hens to another coop and let them adjust slowly. I did this to show them a new/safe environment. Hens will not lay eggs in a place they see as a potential hazard to there young. They are not just egg making machines, they are mothers, as you well know.

    Your new coop should be large enough for all the hens to fit in happily. Dividing the flock into two or more coops is a bad idea because is enforces the idea that humans are threats. Try to avoid separating the hens. They should have nests that are eight inches below the roost and at least a foot off the ground. Nests should be well bedded. They should also be placed in a position that prevents them from getting wet and be wind protected. Provide FRESH CLEAN water daily. Poor water quality hurts egg production. Also remember that a big reason some hens eat their eggs is because they feel threatened. SO a few wooden or ceramic eggs in the nest boxes would probably be a good idea as a preventative measure.

    The best thing to do for them is be patient.The whole moving to a new coop with new nests thing is a big upset to them. Contrary to what alot of chicken owners think, they weren't made for coop living. During this re-adjustment period feed the hens a ration of Layer's Pellets (between 16 and 18 % protein works best) And keep Oyster Shells avaliable until they are all laying again. To help them be un-afraid of you, treat them with bread or worms EVERY time you enter the coop. This will help them adjust to you and not view humans as a threat. The last thing you want is a flock of egg-layers that view you as a threat, so don't try to handle or catch any of them during this time because this causes the other hens stress, especially if she makes the distress call.


    After about four weeks in the new coop all the hens should be laying somewhat regularly. It is very important not to separate the remaining hens because this can re-enforce the idea of a "threat". Keep the hens together as long as you can. They will find security in the company of each other.


    After about a month the egg-production comes back to a more normal level, you can let the hens free to roam during the day. Leave the coop door open so they can come and go as they please. IF the hens lay inside the coop, they find it suitable and will continue to lay for you. At this point you have done them a big favor. They are now happy. If they don't lay in the coop don't free-range them for another three weeks, this should solve the problem. Continue free-ranging every other day and return the rooster (or new rooster)

    In two months (at the most) following a healthy diet and free-ranging they will be at top egg production based on the season. You will get a lot of eggs so be ready for that one.

    MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH THIS TECHNIQUE:

    I can not say 100 % that this will work for you and your chickens. My hens were two year old Red Sex-Link and Black Jersey Giants. All hens are different and some take longer to adjust. Being patient and allowing the slower one time to adjust before letting them free-range was hard to do but it worked. Slowly eggs came daily. Then when the free-ranging began and the rooster was returned it increased again. I noticed it peak at one egg per day per hen in the mid-summer then decline to six eggs a week in the early winter. The main thing to remember is that they will lay when you get it right, mother nature will take over eventually.


    I hope this works for all of you!



    Timothy in Kentucky
     
  2. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    7,951
    283
    331
    Aug 20, 2010
    Colmesneil,TX
    Thank you for posting this. My flock is going through an adjustment time and only one of three capable of laying, is. I culled the fourth hen and they have had some younger ones join and are in the process of re-establish pecking order. Now I know why and have an idea how to deal with it.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by