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Hens not laying..

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kgardiner, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. kgardiner

    kgardiner Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 12, 2011
    North Port, FL
    Ok, something wiped out my flock awhile back and I decided to reinforce their run and buy some new chickens. I bought 4 hens two of which are supposedly 1 yr and 2 that are 6 months. The guy I bought them from showed me eggs from where they were nesting and said they may stop for a little while because of their move. I fully understood that. I got them to their new palace and the next day there were two eggs (the ones they had produced at their other home). I got no eggs for maybe a week or so and then to my delight - there was another egg. I thought - great, they must be comfortable. Well that is the last egg I've seen. It's been roughly 80 everyday for the past month [​IMG] (I love Florida) so I don't think the weather is a problem - BUT I have discovered what assasinated my flock. A bobcat, a big bobcat. I chased him off and set up a trap but to no avail. I haven't got a clean shot at him (yet) but war has been declared. What my new question is - if I cannot seem to kill the bobcat will my chickens not lay eggs at all out of fear? I have his schedule down for harassing my chickens and I'm determined to revenge the deaths of my hens. I'm just thinking I may be out of luck until then - is this correct? Or may it be another reason they decided to take a break from laying? Any thoughts would be appreciated!
     
  2. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

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    They could be not laying for a number of reasons. Stress of any sort could cause them to slow down laying or stop completely.

    It is more likely the hens aren't laying because it is winter. For chickens to lay at top production, they need ~14 hours of daylight. During the winter, the chooks get far less daylight than then do in the summer. Many chickens (my birds, included) will stop laying over the winter.

    This is why you see folks putting Christmas lights in the coop, or a timed bulb, or evern the $1.50 Walmart solar lights.

    Keep in mind- you are not increasing the total # of eggs you'll get out of an individual chicken, just the rate at which said chicken lays those eggs.

    Other factors: the move to the new coop could be stressing out your birds, change in feeds, the roaming bobcat, etc. Eventually your ladies will lay again. Good Luck!
     
  3. butterrowe

    butterrowe New Egg

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    Feb 7, 2012
    in the winter use 22% protein laying mash,,then in summer use a 16%-----chicken use a lot of protein in the winter to keep warm and none is left for egg production--wonders of chickens
     
  4. Mum

    Mum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 23, 2011
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    Chickens are amazing things, they can withhold laying their eggs if there are preditors around. If they have seen the bobcat, yes, it could put them off lay; but, once the danger has passed, they should then lay the egg they have withheld.

    Are your hens pure breeds or hybrids? Pure breeds go off lay winter time (even though you live in sunny Florida, it may still apply).

    The number of eggs a hen produces in one year is breed dependent too. That might be something to consider.

    Hope your get your bobcat and eggs soon!
     
  5. kgardiner

    kgardiner Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 12, 2011
    North Port, FL
    Oh yea they saw the bobcat! Did they ever.. When I reinforced their run I built it with 2x4's and 1x4's even on the top. The bobcat was actually on the run! I'm actually surprised the chickens even venture outside but they do.. (I guess they have faith in my building abilities!) They are purebred hens not hybrids, as far as I know - 2 australops and 2 dominiques. They have a roo friend who is a Light Sussex. Thanks for the advice and I hope the predator problem is soon to be over.. I don't need any dying of a heart attack!
     
  6. Mum

    Mum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 23, 2011
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    Ok, pure breeds then.

    Back to "patience" as a fixer to your egg laying issue.

    Hmm, patience on the bobcat issue too - just aim sure [​IMG]
     

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