Hens not laying consistently?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Bullettooth, Dec 26, 2014.

  1. Bullettooth

    Bullettooth New Egg

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    Thanks for having me, I am new. :)
    I am also new to this art. I got 20 hens and a rooster from a friend. That was about 4 months ago. Before I got them they were laying around 20 eggs a day. They were just about 1 year old. The day I got them they laid 5 eggs. Then only 2 eggs for about 2 weeks. Then they started molting. I then got 4 more hens and another rooster from another friend. I then got 4 eggs a day. Then they started molting. Then for the next 3 months only about 2-4 eggs a day. Last week I got 6 eggs 2 days out of the week. Today just 4. (They look like they are all done molting)
    I am feeding them 22% protein feed about 50 lbs a week. They free range on 1.25 acres with 2 goats. I feed them at night. I feel like when I do feed them they act like they are starving and all the feed is gone in about 2 min. I have a red light in the coop that stays on all day and night (I heard that helps in the winter months)
    Any suggestions? Thanks!
     
  2. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    Ok several pointers here: I think you may be feeding them too much protein. Hens are only supposed to have 16-18% protein in their diet. Secondly, leaving a heat lamp on all day and night can mess with their bodies and cause them to lay non stop, quit laying or start laying in the middle of the night. If possible, I would only leave it on in the daytime.

    Also, even though they look like they are done molting doesn't mean they really are. So it could still take a while for them to start up again.

    I hope this has helped.

    Good luck and welcome to our flock!:)
     
  3. Bullettooth

    Bullettooth New Egg

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    Maybe it us 18% it is the super layer feed bag...
    I read on another forum that a red light (it's not a heat light) is good for the hens it allows them to sleep cuz it is still dim but allows them to see when there is less light in the winter months. I only added this when I saw the production go way down. I have also not seen them lay at night.. I will turn it off and see if that helps. Thanks so much for your reply.
     
  4. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    I also read that red light is calming to hens but it is not more calming than just the darkness. If your hens aren't used to it, it also might throw them off track.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2014
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  5. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to BYC. I'm glad you decided to join our flock. Mountain Peeps has given you some good advice. I would definitely not use that red light. It's not the chickens vision (whether or not they can see the light or lack thereof) that causes the problem. The issue is that the light stimulates the hen's pineal gland which regulates her laying. If you are going to use it, set it on a timer where it comes on about 5 am and goes off from a half hour to an hour after sunrise (depending on how much shade you coop is in). As for molting, depending on the breed and the rate of the molt, molting can in unusual circumstances take as long as four to six months. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your hens laying again.
     
  6. CrazyChookz

    CrazyChookz Chillin' With My Peeps

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  7. N F C

    N F C doo be doo be doo Premium Member

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    Good morning and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Since egg production slowed down prior to their molting, I wonder if the stress of moving the birds from one place to another isn't responsible for some of the initial slow down. It takes time for animals to acclimate to a new environment and then the molting on top of that of course. And with the addition of more birds, that can be stressful too.

    Just think, one of these days you are going to be up to your ears in eggs!
     
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  8. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC![​IMG] We're glad to have you.
     
  9. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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  10. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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