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Hens not laying...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chicken Haven, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. Chicken Haven

    Chicken Haven New Egg

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    Mar 19, 2008
    I have 2 hens (1White Rock, 1Turken) that would lay fairly regularly last spring and summer. During winter I would only get eggs from my turken and that was pretty sparingly but it was winter so I wasn't really concerned. Now it is summer and I have only been getting 1 egg every 3-4 weeks out of the turken and nothing from my White Rock. The only changes have been the loss of 2 roosters and addition of 5 new chicks. The rooster was fairly rough with both of them but particularly to the turken but I though production would get better after he was gone. And the hens both run herd on my chicks so I don't think that would be the problem.
    Their diet is layer crumbles and scratch combined and whatever table scraps we throw to them and they have free access to outside and plenty of water. Here is a pic of the coop:
    [​IMG]

    The nests used to set on top of the boards but they would just roost on them and knock them over so I put them on the floor.

    Any suggestions on why they wouldn't be??
     
  2. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    How old are your hens? Any change in diet?
    Any chance the eggs may be getting stolen?
     
  3. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Have you ruled out predators getting in & eating them? Could they be hiding them somewhere in your run? They can be quite creative in hiding them. Also, they could be eating their eggs. It's sometimes hard to catch them doing it, and they often don't leave evidence of doing so. You almost have to catch them in the act to know for sure. You might leave some golf balls in the nests or some fake eggs - this will remind them where to lay, if they are hiding them somewhere. You could also have one that's gone broody and may have found a private place to lay. Good luck, and welcome to BYC!
     
  4. HenHaven

    HenHaven Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 3, 2007
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    Wow, it could be any and/or all of the things you mentioned. Laying hens don't like change, LOL. So they had to adjust to too much rooster love, loss of rooster, new chicks (interlopers), and a different nestbox configuration.

    If they aren't old or sick, I would say it could just be all the changes. One thing I did notice is that you feed crumbles and scratch combined. Scratch should be very minimal and even less in the summertime.

    If they were mine, I would try perking them up with some wet mash (crumbles/water) mixed with yogurt, and give them some good greens. Who doesn't perk up with a little home cookin'! ......and don't rock the boat for awhile, LOL. [​IMG]
     
  5. Chicken Haven

    Chicken Haven New Egg

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    Mar 19, 2008
    I haven't changed their diet since I took them off of chick starter; we throw them grass every couple days so they get some "wild" greens and they get a lot of salad like fixin's.
    I know the turken likes to try and hide her eggs as I've found them all over the place especially when I took the nests out for a cleaning and didn't put them back for awhile. I usually do an egg sweep 2-3 times a week to look for any hidden ones, but I never thought about them eating the eggs..darn birds.
    LOL and just a tip...don't ever put bricks in the nests as a counterweight. When I took the crates out to clean them I had to remove the nails holding them down. Well I thought I'd put a brick in the bottom to hold it down rather than nail it back down...needless to say that was a bad idea. One of the few eggs I get I found crushed between the brick and the side of the crate:( I need to build something more sturdy but I can't find a nest blueprint that I like yet.

    Oh and predators are a no. There's no sign of digging under the fence to get into the coop and I don't believe anything is swooping in from above and going inside the coop either. Unless my cats have figured out a way in but then I would have dead chicks instead of lost eggs I think.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2008
  6. augiedranch

    augiedranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    snakes can get in about ANYWHERE. and they dont leave a trace.... what about snakes?
     
  7. Chicken Haven

    Chicken Haven New Egg

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    I've never found any snake holes around the house or in the fields or seen any. If there are they're only garter or grass snakes. Raccoons might (I emphasize might) be around but they would have to be awfully big and brave to come around. Between the dogs and the varmint-hunting family there isn't a whole lot besides gophers around here, lol.
     
  8. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Back to the egg eating...if that's what is going on, you may not find evidence of it. Try throwing in some dry cat food; I hear tell egg eating can be curbed if you feed them a bit more protein, as they're apparently lacking protein if/when they eat eggs. Personally I'm not sure that's true, as I feed dry cat food once in awhile, plus BOSS, lots of greens, excellent quality layer feed, and I occasionally do get an egg eaten. I have found TINY pieces of shell quite accidentally, and I know that's what has gone on. I think once they start, it's REALLY difficult to get them to stop. Maybe try the golf balls in the nest boxes first to remind them where to lay. Also, if they are moulting, they'll slow way down or stop with laying. [​IMG]
     
  9. nakactress

    nakactress Out Of The Brooder

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    I was just having this issue too and its since resolved. I read somewhere that when they shed feathers a bit from the warmer weather some won't lay eggs or lay infrequently.
     
  10. jtotherow

    jtotherow Out Of The Brooder

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    Honey good luck! The snake thing you won't find holes. Black snakes and rat snakes come straight through the chicken wire and waite on them to lay and when they move he swallows them. They can go through 5 eggs in a few minutes. i 've killed two in with my girls and that interupts the laying. They were scared silly.

    My girls are smart! He lost his skin going out the wire and they brougth it in the coop for me to find. Then I started looking for him. My king won't bother them but the black snake will get lazy and that easy food.
     

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