Help!!! eggs in 2 months or better! Don't know what to do!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Athensm50, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. Athensm50

    Athensm50 In the Brooder

    Jul 17, 2013
    hey guys....I am at my wits end.... We must be the worst chicken farmer ever!!!......

    I'm not sure what we are doing eggs in 2 months or better.......we have 6 ladies......I have one chicken that looks like she is molting.....the rest look fine.....we feed 16% layer pellets and scraps(bread...veges).....we were watering with nipples...and have changed back to just a bowl thinking the water was getting funky in the bucket.....not sure???

    Others around me had slowed down....but are getting eggs

    Not sure what to do next.....we live in the south....not getting bitterly cod....I let the out a few times a week to free range.....

    I have tried putting a light on difference

    Feed inside coop....water outside.....maybe need to get water inside coop? They go in a 4:30 at night....and I let them out at 6 or so the next morning.....maybe not getting enough water?

    Can they all be egg bound?

    I have gotten them here and there....could one of them have something and they now all have some type of "egg barron " sickness?

    I need some help here guys......:-(

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging 7 Years

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    The first thing to do is stop the layer feed. They're not laying so the 4% calcium can damage the kidneys.
    If molting, changing to a 18% protein grower feed will help them grow the feathers.
    I don't know how much corn they're getting but I'd cut that out too. Corn is under 10% protein and not much in the way of other nutrients. Higher protein stimulates egg production because an egg is about 6 grams of protein.
    They can't see at night so once up on the roost they won't move so they won't be wandering around drinking water even if they wanted to. As long as they have access to water in the morning you can leave it outside, just make sure it is clean fresh water.
    If they were all egg bound they'd be dying.
    Cold has no impact on laying.
    Do you know how old they are?
    They won't lay while molting and as birds get older, some breeds take a winter break.
    Chickens are very sensitive to light and lengthening days stimulates laying. Shortening days is a signal to molt and take a laying break. If one adds light, it should be in small increments to simulate naturally lengthening days. Add about 30 minutes a week. Just a couple days without the added light can stop the laying unless it's the birds 1st year of laying. The light won't make the molting bird lay because they can't make eggs and 90% protein feathers at the same time.
    They're not egg machines, but birds that lay eggs in response to good nutrition, day length and lack of disease.

    Your task now is to switch from layer feed to grower feed, cut way back on the corn and decide if you want to add light.
    Otherwise, if you provide the right nutrition, they don't get a disease, and are otherwise healthy they'll start laying again after the first of the year as day's get longer.
    Offer oyster shell in a separate container so when they commence laying they can pick up what they need. When you know they're all laying again, switch back to layer feed.
  3. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    How old are they? Do they seem to be molting? Molting birds will not lay very well, or at all. Molting takes several months, usually. If they are old hens, laying may just be decreasing because of old age. Stop feeding them much corn, and cut down on the scraps too. Layer feed contains all the nutrients needed for laying hens, so if you feed other food, it will decrease the total nutrients your birds are getting, and therefore egg production. Hens will fill up on corn and scraps, not on the feed they need.

    Many birds will stop laying in the winter, even if you provide supplemental light. Its unlikely that all of your birds are egg bound. If they were, they would be acting droopy, have hard abdomens, and would not be acting right.
  4. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Crowing 10 Years

    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    I have 7 Welsummers & 4 EEs. All but 1 Welsummer quit by the end of August. I had 3-4 of the EEs laying until mid-October than down to 1 green egg a day until mid-November when the last EE went into molt. One Welsummer laid until Oct. 10 & then no more brown. I went 1 week without an egg & then got 1 egg a day. Now 3 weeks later I have 2 EEs laying. The darn Welsummers are still not laying. This is only the 2nd time in 20 years I got 0 eggs for any length of time. Once I had a flock of 12 quit for the whole month of September when I changed their food & failed to turn my light on by Aug. 15th as usual. Things just happen! I never quit layer feed, as like the EEs someone is usually still laying. I really don't think you have to worry about a full grown hen not laying for two months & getting layer feed. JMHO. I always fed layer at 16-18 weeks, had chickens laying at 18-20 weeks and continued layer throughout their lives. It has worked for me, YMMV. There are so many "special" precautions on this board etc. & SO many people who's chickens don't lay or quit laying, so I will continue what I have always done. Sometimes the simplest way is the best.

  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging 7 Years

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I usually have mixed flocks of roosters and various age birds, some laying and some not.
    I don't feed layer at all any more unless I have just a flock of pullets and young hens that I'm sure are all laying.
    There's lots of research that shows the excess calcium first gets deposited in the kidneys and then in various organs and tissues causing kidney stone, gout and death.
    Roosters with too much calcium will not only get kidney stones but also have fertility affected. and Vitamin D3 problems in laying birds.pdf
    Studies show that with breeding flocks of broiler, roosters died at 4 times the rate of hens. 4% calcium is a huge amount of total feed intake for birds not producing egg shells.
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    If your birds are in the 18ish month range, it's perfectly normal for them to take a break for the winter. They'll start back up in the spring. They're not egg bound, or broken, just taking a rest.
  7. Athensm50

    Athensm50 In the Brooder

    Jul 17, 2013
    I talked to a lady at church this morning...and she said hers have kinda done the same this....but she have never had them just stop like they have this year....she is getting an egg or 2 a day now but hers stopped like mine did......she has 25 chickens...I only have 6.

    Guess I can just continue feeding....and maybe they will start again after the first of the year.

    I have 3 golden commets....3 EE'ers and 1 Barret Rock....all are "suppose" to be a year or so....I really have no Idea how old.

  8. Athensm50

    Athensm50 In the Brooder

    Jul 17, 2013
    but reading the post above.....if they are not laying.....should yo switch to a grower pellet??
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging 7 Years

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    People will tell you otherwise but I say 'absolutely'.
    Why would a chicken that isn't building a shell that is 3 grams of calcium need that much? They don't. Excess has to be processed by the kidneys and will tax them.
    I breed extremely rare chickens and I can't take the chance that I'm giving them renal disease and other health issues because I can't get more birds.
    Chickens die unexpectedly. People rarely attribute it to nutrition but they don't do a necropsy.

  10. Jipus5

    Jipus5 Songster

    Jul 8, 2012
    Minden Louisiana
    There you are.... seems your doing the right things where feeding and water are concerned. Maybe a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, helps keep the water cleaner and good for them
    BUT, just recently, here in Louisiana, a few of mine have started leaving the coop area and laying out in the forest. Then never the same places either so they are driving me crazy! Bet that is it...they are laying somewhere while they are free ranging... if I read you right. Check on their bedding, in the nesting area. Make sure all is well, then check for possible intrusions....mice or even bugs there looking for a warmer place can deter your chickens from laying in the nest! Hope this helps!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by