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hen stopped laying

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mfranti, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. mfranti

    mfranti Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 12, 2008
    salt lake city
    i have a barred rock and RIR that are about 27-28 wks old. (i also have 3 white leggerns? that are only 23 weeks)

    i was getting one small brown egg every couple a days for close to two weeks when the eggs stopped coming. it's been almost two weeks since i've seen any eggs and i'm totally discouraged.

    i feed them a laying mash (about 1/2 C, per bird/day) some chicken scratch and any veggie/fruit leftovers i can find. (i do this now because they don't have free roam right now since they want to eat everything in my unfenced garden)

    assuming the hens are healthy, because they show no signs of illness, what could cause this?

    at first i thought something was stealing the eggs but any critter big enough to walk off w/ an egg couldn't get in/out the coop/run area to start.

    then i thought maybe one of the gals is eating the eggs...but wouldn't there be some 'evidence' left over?

    now, i'm worried about parasites. but like i said, the chooks show no signs of illness. they are fat, very active and voracious eaters.

    if they are moulting, wouldn't i see evidence of that?

    could it be that they used to be free roaming all day long and now i have them in the tractor all the time?

    stress because i killed the rooster (sigh)

    not enough bedding?

    i just don't know what i am doing wrong.



    also...

    shouldn't all of my hens be laying by now? 23 and 27 wks and it's full summer?
     
  2. warren

    warren Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 29, 2007
    UK
    Perhaps they are sulking. If they are well, parasite free, and well fed, then they should settle down.
     
  3. mfranti

    mfranti Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 12, 2008
    salt lake city
    sulking?

    are you serious? [​IMG] do they get upset when they lose a member of their..um...team?
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Birds are very social so when you move one out of the pecking order, they can be disrupted and be confused for a few weeks. Re-penning can also stress them out. I would provide free choice layer feed as it may be possible that if they are eating all their food you are providing, they are not getting enough of the right kind of nutrients to make eggs so they have just stopped because they don't have enough internal reserve. I'd cut out the corn too if it is summer time as that's "junk food" and they will fill up on it instead of their layer feed which has nutrients they need for making eggs.
     
  5. mfranti

    mfranti Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 12, 2008
    salt lake city
    free choice layer feed as it may be possible that if they are eating all their food you are providing, they are not getting enough of the right kind of nutrients to make eggs so they have just stopped because they don't have enough internal reserve. I'd cut out the corn too

    free choice layer feed? what is that? a brand?

    and the corn-you mean the chicken scratch? ok. that's very easy to do.

    so it could just (ha!) be a combination of mr. woo's death, the repenning (they totally hate being cooped up) and the fact that they are not getting all benefits of free ranging? since it all happened at the same time.

    so if i let them out again, will that cause more stress or possibly rememdy the problem? seems like they get a better diet if i give them some mash and let them eat bugs and weeds all day.​
     
  6. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    Free choice as in keep their feed bowl full. i personally would cut out the treats, and just stick to the layer mash. [​IMG]
     
  7. mfranti

    mfranti Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 12, 2008
    salt lake city
    sorry to keep asking questions....

    but why would i cut out the fruit and vegetables? i thought i read that i can give them that as part of their regular diet.

    how does that work when they are free range? i can't stop them from eating everything in sight.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2008
  8. rufus

    rufus Overrun With Chickens

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    May 17, 2007
    I suspect a hidden nest. If you let your hens free range they will find a place to hide the eggs. All of a sudden, no eggs in the nest box.

    Watch to see where the hens go. If they duck into a pile of wood or junk, check it out. They are very devious when it comes to hiding eggs.

    It is sad to realize you are being outsmarted by a critter with a brain about the size of your thumbnail.

    Rufus
     
  9. mfranti

    mfranti Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 12, 2008
    salt lake city
    so i just cleaned out the dog house where they sleep and inspected the girls for parasites.

    clean-a clean-a. phew!

    it was kinda scary not knowing what i'd find.

    so that's not an issue- anyone know how to avoid getting parasites? what i can use or is it just going to happen.

    they are out and about enjoying the grass and bugs for the first time in weeks.

    i hope that if i can get them on a regular free range schedule again, they will start laying.
     
  10. willowtreecreek

    willowtreecreek Out Of The Brooder

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    May 10, 2008
    Arkansas
    It desnt say where you live but many hens will stop laying in high heat. We have had unbearable temps here. August is a slow month for eggs. If you aren't noticing any other problems they may just be hot!
     

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