Hi All -- CT Yankee newbie (to BYCF, not chickens)!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by lilpenny, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. lilpenny

    lilpenny Chirping

    Mar 12, 2011
    Hi There --
    We've had chickens now for about 8 years -- various kinds -- we usually get 25 MMcM "Rainbow Layer" chicks and split them with someone when we need to replenish.

    Our average flock size is about 15 hens, give or take and one or 2 roosters thrown in for good measure. Right now we are down to about only 10 hens and 2 roosters, our lowest number in years!

    We've done a few rounds of natural hatching for the cute factor (when life hands you a roosters, make...) and got some mixed heritage hens out of it

    I should mention here that these are my daughter's chickens, but her concern for them varies -- obviously since mom is writing, I am a tad more worried about this current problem than she is- lol!

    We average anywhere from 2 - 8 doz /week depending on season and flock size, and have dealt with all the up's and down's, illnesses, injuries, etc.. or so I thought..

    Here's the scoop -- going into winter we had a flock of 15 hens of varying ages, none more than 3yrs and 2 roosters -- they went through their usual molt, but we give them light -- things picked back up post Christmas, a little slower than usual - then we lost one to prolapse (it was bitterly cold weather)

    Then for the first time in 8 yrs we had hawk trouble -- and the roosters were useless. He picked off 3 hens before we got a net up. he's not been back. that was December
    The flock seemed to settle down a laying resumed but very slow.

    Now, just when laying should pick up, the eggs have completely disappeared -- I mean completely -- not a sign of one going on 3 weeks now -- no broken shells, nothing -- I've never seen anything like this. We close them up in a secure coop at night (a very small animal could get in, but not a raccoon or possum) -- they are in a fenced yard during the day, now covered with plastic netting

    From 10 hens under 3 years old, we should get an occasional egg! the hawk incident was 2 mos ago, they've laid some since then

    I have been observing them during the day, they are not acting skittish
    They are eating & drinking OK
    We've had an extremely hard winter in CT 6 feet of snow and very cold -- right now it is melting so they are more cooped up because of a soggy yard, but still
    This does not explain NO eggs!

    Can someone help us out?? I am really baffled -- not to mention eggless -- I feed a family of 7 and depend on eggs a lot -- I REALLY hate buying them.

    Does this sound like a predator problem or flock problem? I repeat, there is no sign of anything -- no eggshell bits, no rodent droppings, no tracks, visible holes -- hens act pretty normal during the day nothing else out of place -- just suddenly zero eggs. I need a good interpreter!
  2. Desert Rooster

    Desert Rooster El Gallo Del Desierto

    Sep 4, 2010
    Hesperia, Ca
    Some Chickens tend to slow down egg production during the Winter, and Hello [​IMG] from Hesperia,Ca and [​IMG]
    I used to live in Danbury, Ct
  3. feather and mountain man

    feather and mountain man Corn fed Indiana farmgirl

    Jan 17, 2010

    He had hawk issues this year too. We got our net up and no more problems. Have you put a fake egg in the nest box to give the girls the notion to lay sometimes that lil trick works.
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    Nov 27, 2008
    Glen St Mary, Florida
    Welcome to BYC.
  5. Attack Chicken

    Attack Chicken [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Hu

    Sep 25, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    [​IMG] from Indiana! [​IMG]

  6. Ema

    Ema Songster

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA

    Hope you are enjoying the forum, glad to have you aboard.

  7. Cacciatore

    Cacciatore Songster

    Jan 19, 2011
    San Pablo, CA
    Welcome from Northern California. [​IMG] I've had my flock slow down quite a bit at times but never had all of them stop laying altogether. Have you changed what you are feeding them? I can't think of anything that might cause them to stop laying at this time of year, when they should start laying more.
  8. IHeartPeeps

    IHeartPeeps In the Brooder

    Mar 12, 2011
    St. George
    I really know very little about your area.. I'd guess they found a more fun area to lay the eggs, but you'd have noticed something like that. snakes come out of hibernating springtime, looking for an easy meal. that's my shot in the dark. good luck!
  9. AZBootsie

    AZBootsie Songster

    Nov 10, 2010
    Congress, AZ
    My Coop
  10. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida

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