Hens stopped laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by aspenlucas, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. aspenlucas

    aspenlucas New Egg

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    Feb 12, 2013
    We have 28 hens, some are older 2 years, but some are just 6-8 months. We were getting 9 eggs a day and now have gone to ZERO. With the occasional egg found in the goat trough. They are not hiding, they are just not laying.

    We stripped down the chicken coop and added new shavings on the floor. Took the hay out of the nesting boxes and added shavings, thinking they may prefer that. Nothing! We have 13 nesting boxes. We do allow the chickens out to free range from about 8AM til they go to bed around 5. We have searched the farm and they are not hiding eggs. Any ideas?

    I have egg customers and no eggs!
     
  2. DraigAthar

    DraigAthar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Plainfield, NH
    Do you give them supplemental light hours? If not, it's probably just a winter thing. When the days are short, most hens stop laying.
     
  3. aspenlucas

    aspenlucas New Egg

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    Feb 12, 2013
    No I don't, but they were laying 8-9 3 weeks ago when the days were short. So my mind is boggled. :)
     
  4. ladytoysdream

    ladytoysdream Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2010
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    Hi

    You might want to let people know what state you live in. Weather , etc.

    My girls are doing real good this winter. My main group was 29 hens and I was getting anywhere from like 13 to 20 eggs a day. Some were / are in molt. Then I lucked into some hens that were is a very stressing situation. I ended up with 16 of them back in the middle of January. So now am getting 27 to 30 eggs a day total. Mine get some free range weather permitting but not till late afternoon. So I know where the eggs are. In the nestboxes in the coop. I have brown egg layers, no white, and a couple of hens that lay green eggs.

    Light gets turned on early. Fresh water every morning. Plenty of feed. I found a better deal by buying directly from a farmer. So about 60 % of what the store would cost me. I still have to find a better deal on layer crumbles. They get treats most every day. I think they like the variety.I also have two small hay racks for hay hanging for the girls. They like hay :)

    One fellow I know has about 60 hens and is getting only like 2 eggs a day now. Happened to him last year also this same time. He had to buy from me to keep his customers happy.
    I do sell at a farm market in the better weather so this time of year, moving eggs can be interesting. I usually have to sell at a lower price but have 2 customers who will take large quanities. I been tracking all my costs in a notebook and the hens are paying their way now. I was real skittish about adding 16 more hens due to the additional cost of feeding them, but it is working out.

    We have 2 roosters. I recently got rid of 2 young ones that were a real bother to the hens. So I would have been left with one, but got another one recently in a barter deal that I will be quite excited to see some babies from him this spring.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  5. ladytoysdream

    ladytoysdream Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2010
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    I thought it showed what state somewhere, but I see it does not.
    I am in NY and it is definitely winter here and been quite cold.
     
  6. ECiesielczyk

    ECiesielczyk Out Of The Brooder

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    Our girls were the same, we were getting about 6-7 a day then they suddenly stopped. They had lice. At least a few of them did. We washed them (we do organic methods) then again 7 days later. It seemed to do the trick. They started laying again. Not as much as before but they are back to laying. Anything that can cause stress can affect their eggs is my understanding.
     
  7. DraigAthar

    DraigAthar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah I think it's hard to predict. I know in my experience, first year hens will lay longer into the short days and then finally fizzle out before spring really returns. I was getting 9-10 eggs a day out of 16 hens almost up until Christmas, so long after the days got short. But then all of a sudden they slowed down. I got 6 a day, then 4-5 a day, then 2-3 a day, and then I was lucky to get one a day! I let them have a little break and then started giving them supplemental light again afew weeks back, because I need eggs for incubating. It only took them about a week to start laying again. I'm down to 12 hens (I sold a few) but I am getting 8-10 eggs a day again.
     
  8. aspenlucas

    aspenlucas New Egg

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    Feb 12, 2013
    I am in NE PA. You know. I wonder if it has to do with the new puppy? About 2 weeks ago I started taking him out with me to work with him getting used to the hens. I hold him on the leash while they come out of the coop. He doesn't bother them, but does bound around me. I wonder if they don't feel "safe" enough in there? Though we can't find eggs anywhere on the farm! Maybe I'll cut working with the pup for a bit? The hens seem happy other then that. Are bagged shavings ok for the nesting boxes or should I do some hay/straw? I had changed out for fresh hay and not one egg. I do have ceramic eggs in some of the boxes also.
     
  9. ladytoysdream

    ladytoysdream Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2010
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    Interesting...
    We have a puppy also. He is 6.5 months old, a basset. I been taking him out to see the chickens on a leash at least several times a day. I think they are getting used to him. He loves checking them out. Big Red just stands her ground, and he sniffs her every time...I think to say hi. Today he bumped noses with another red hen, one of my broody ones, and she was about to ready to throw him out of the coop. I figure they better get used to each other. I don't think the puppy has affected their laying any.

    I prefer to use shavings on the floor and nestboxes. In the second part, we do use straw. I think the shavings soak up any water better.

    Maybe they don't like the ceramic eggs because they are cold ?
    I only use fake eggs in the spring, when I am checking for a broody. As soon as I know I have a willing candidate, I put her in a huge dog crate on eggs that I want to hatch. I use a rabbit nest box as the nest box in the crate. I like to have 2 or 3 broodies at the same time working, in case one of them, changes her mind. I like raising my own replacements. I can pick which eggs I want from my better hens. I have one that is half banty and I raised a daugher from her. I cloned her and both can be a royal PITA in the spring, because both want to broody 24 / 7 . Sigh........
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  10. aspenlucas

    aspenlucas New Egg

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    Feb 12, 2013
    Well that makes me feel better as I would rather him get used to them now instead of eating them later! Our breeds are Australorp, Barred Rock, Deleware and two Americaunas.
     

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