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Help.... My girls are not laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dtj1968, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. dtj1968

    dtj1968 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 19, 2012
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    MY girls are not laying eggs, we are getting only 1-3 eggs per day from 14 layers. It is true we have two that are getting older, about 4 years now, but they all stopped about the same time this past summer. Roughly mid-august is when we noticed something wrong. Thought they were laying elsewhere as we let them free range all day, but we locked them in for over a week - two different times now - and still only get 1-3 eggs each day. Have done all of the suggested things, food, water, water with cider vinegar in it, crushed oyster shells etc... Nothing is working, and some of these girls are only 6 and 7 months old now. YES - they have a light, on a timer, to give them the full 14-16 hours of light time they need. We have 3 Roos though, does this cause them too much stress? Do I need to drop this down to just one rooster? Our eggs primarily get given to our elderly neighbors (they get so excited every week!!), and we are lacking badly past couple of months. NEED HELP. Thanks all.
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Three roosters to 14 pullets/hens is outside the recommended gender ratio and, yes, overbreeding and/or stress from the rooster wars can impact production. How many eggs per day *were* you getting? Asking because the birds that are now 6-7 months old would only have been 4-5 months old in August when you saw the drop in production, so I am wondering if they are birds that have not entered into production vs. having actually "stopped" laying.
     
  3. dtj1968

    dtj1968 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 19, 2012
    Holland, Michigan
    Good point - I was not at all clear.... we were up to 5-7 eggs per day early this summer. And about the time that the younger ones should've kicked in.... we went almost to zero eggs. Since we did find a couple of old nests on edges of our fields, we thought they had another secret spot, so my delay in getting on this has been lengthy. We got our girls for tick control here, and they do a FABULOUS job, the eggs are totally secondary to us.... but no eggs likely means unhappy flock, for some reason. And shouldn't our young ones, hatched on Easter Day - yes really, be laying by now?
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
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    So 2 older hens(4yo), 12 pullets(6-7mo) and 3 cockerels(6-7mo)?

    Confused how you were getting 5-7 eggs daily in 'early summer' with only 2 hens old enough to lay...maybe define 'early summer'?

    How big is your coop?
    Do they have a run or just free range?
    How long have your lights been on for 14 hours a day?

    If they are crowded in the coop during lock down, might defeat the purpose by adding stress.
    Depending on flock dynamic, too many roosters can definitely add stress.
    Adding supplemental light can take up to 6 weeks to have an effect.

    Any other stressors...predator attacks, changes to housing, molting, parasites, etc?
     
  5. woody1

    woody1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What breed and what are you feeding them?
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
  6. dtj1968

    dtj1968 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 19, 2012
    Holland, Michigan
    Woody1.... have no idea on the breeds, sorry! 4 of our newest hens are ones that we actually hatched ourselves, from our own eggs earlier this year, 3 are are the "Easter Eggers" we bought from Family Farm and Home here in Holland... the others.... my daughters picked out based on being pretty.
    Food? Standard layer mash from local feed mill... nothing special at all. But they do get occassional handful of corn or cracked corn, and some left over house scraps or bread, but only rarely as a treat.
     
  7. dtj1968

    dtj1968 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 19, 2012
    Holland, Michigan
     
  8. dtj1968

    dtj1968 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 19, 2012
    Holland, Michigan
    We had 7 adult layers early summer when we were getting 5 to 7 eggs each day. Had 4 that we hatched ourselves that hatched on easter day, so they should be laying by now (?). And we have 3 Easter Eggers that are about 1 month older than the ones hatched on Easter. These ones started laying, two ofvthem did at least, but that only lasted a few weeks, then ended. :(
     
  9. dtj1968

    dtj1968 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 19, 2012
    Holland, Michigan
    Should i drop down to just 1 or 2 Roosters from my 3 now?? If 3 roos to 14 hens is too many?
     
  10. Ravennest

    Ravennest Out Of The Brooder

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    Yeah I would start with keeping the roo you originally started with. If we're confused you can imagine the stress the hens are under....
    two roos...a dominant and second in command. Some people are able to have more some only have one...it could be the order itself is changing as the others become older. Everything is getting shuffled around so readjustments have to be made.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014

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