How Long Will My Buff Orpingtons Lay? How Can I Lengthen Thier Egg-Laying Life?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickengirl2013, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. chickengirl2013

    chickengirl2013 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 5, 2013
    Loganville, Georgia
    I have eight buff orpingtons, two of which are roosters. The chickens are all about three months old and are not laying yet. I hear that buffs are great chickens and will become beautiful as they grow older. However, I have also heard stories about whole flocks of buffs that have stopped laying altogether. How long will my buffs lay? Is there anything that I can do in order to lengthen the time in which they lay? We just stared mixing laying pellets into thier chick mash, but I was wondering if there is anything that I could feed them that will increase thier production of eggs.
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    They don't need the laying pellets until they are around 5-6 months old (laying). The extra calcium can harm their bones/kidneys.

    They are born with a certain number of eggs inside them. They cannot lay more than what they are given but not all their eggs will be used if they encounter things that make them stop laying (such as stress, not enough protein, etc.).

    So if you provide light for them all winter and they lay all winter for you, those eggs are gone and they have fewer eggs left to send forth later in life.

    Older hens sometimes lay well and sometimes don't from what I have read (I have never kept my hens too long).

    I give my Buffies about 3 hours of extra light right now and they are laying well for me (one year old hens). I am not worried about saving those eggs inside them as we get new chickens a lot. I would say not to worry- use light in the winter if you want eggs in the winter.

    I hope this helps.
     
  3. chickengirl2013

    chickengirl2013 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 5, 2013
    Loganville, Georgia
    thanks; So do you think that mixing the pellets into thier chick mash could be harmful at three to four months old?
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Yep, I wouldn't do it. Feeding layer food does not cause or help them to lay. It has added calcium and allows for thicker shells.

    Depends on if you're looking for years of laying overall or how many eggs they lay a year. As stated, they've only got so many from the start. Hens who take the winter off will in theory lay for more years total than hens who are lighted into laying.

    Keeping your birds healthy is key. One huge component of this is space and stress.6 hens and 2 roosters in a confined area could cause a huge amount of stress on the hens. This is one thing where there is not hard and fast rule, you'll just have to watch them and see how things go. If your hens are harrassed, bare backed, violently mated or overmated in general, they won't lay as well and will overall be more prone to illness, laying issues and behavior problems.

    Have you checked out the stickie on speckledhen's commandments of flock raising? It's a great starting point.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    donrae, could you please post a link to where this 'stickie' is?
     
  6. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

  7. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I would never feed layer to any of my birds, as I keep roosters, juveniles and chicks with moms and they all eat the same food. Layer can cause kidney failure in roosters, non-laying hens, and chicks. Too risky. I offer a grower type feed which has all the same elements of layer minus the calcium.

    I have a feeder with oyster shell that the layers have access too, and they use it. Never had any problems with soft shelled eggs except once, and it was not due to calcium, it was a hen that just wasn't well and she was culled.

    I have between 100-120 hens/pullets and roughly 15-20 cockerels & roosters.
     
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  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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  9. chickengirl2013

    chickengirl2013 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 5, 2013
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    what about laying mash instead of pellets. what is the difference between the two?
     
  10. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Nothing in the nutritional value. The processing is the only difference.
     

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