how old is old?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by charm, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. charm

    charm Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Feb 24, 2011
    I have 4 hens that were 2 yrs old this summer and 4 that were 1 yr old this summer. They have all been great layers, even last winter. Now, not so much. Have only been getting one or 2 eggs a day, occasionly 3. Of those, 1 is flat on one side. One is nicely formed but has extra calcium spots, and one seems to be sqeezed around the top. This evening I watched a hen lay a soft egg when I was putting them to bed. They have a constant supply of layer pellets. They get fresh fruits and/ or vegies almost every day. They get cracked corn and bread in the evening to go to bed. Idk if I'm doing, or not doing something or if they r reaching old age already. I have a 6 yrs old & 5 yr old that both still lay good every spring. So now I'm confused and would appreciate all the help I can get. Thanks. :/
     
  2. After two, they are past their laying prime. We have some that are well over two and still lay well. It depends on the breed, I think.
     
  3. Smoochie

    Smoochie Chillin' With My Peeps

    865
    30
    124
    Sep 18, 2012
    CANADA
    If health isn't an issue ( worms, lice, mites.. Etc) it is probably genetics. Where did you get the hens and what breed are they? Many people in my neighbourhood consider 2 years is the "spent" culling age. I raised "four-year layers" for my parents but they last longer. Are you supplementing with light? Are they moulting hard?
     
  4. charm

    charm Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Feb 24, 2011
    The flat ones from a red. The other 2 r Easter eggers. And the soft one from a big white hen, looks like your pic smoochie. These 4 r still a little on the bald side lol. The others have all filled in beautiful but don't lay now. The 2 older ones, 1 is black with gold around her head/ neck. The other a top hat. I got all of them except the oldest, black/gold, from the same feed store.
    Idk about worms, how do u know? And for other bugs they have a dirt box with a little seven dust plus they have the yard too. So I don't think they r infested. I'm hopeing its just the weather. But I wanna make sure its not me :)
    I don't use any lighting, no electricity out there. We live in New Mexico so even in the winter we have mostly sunny skys.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  5. rikithemonk

    rikithemonk Chillin' With My Peeps

    279
    22
    101
    Apr 19, 2012
    Mont Dora Florida
    Here is an odd thought. It could be a health issue. Perhaps a tumor or growth preventing the egg from forming properly due to lack of space in the chickens abdomen.

    I remember reading a post on the forums where a chicken died and after the postmortem the chicken was found to have had a great many tumors. The post included pics. It strikes me that this sort of problem could cause flat sided eggs.
    Just a thought.

    Riki
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  6. charm

    charm Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Feb 24, 2011
    Oh my gosh. I sure hope not. That sounds just awful! Poor chicken. U might b on to something tho. In Sept my top hat got what we thought was wry neck. Ended up taking her to vet. Got vitamins, antibotics, and pain meds. Fixed her right up. B4 I took her I bought vitimins and antibotics and gave it to every1. Few weeks after all that hubby got scabies. Blamed it on the sick hen in the house. I then totally cleaned the coop and put 7 dust on everything. Wonder if I made them sick? They don't act sick. Boy that would really suck if I did this :(
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,451
    3,545
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    It's just normal for an older hen to take the winter off. Their bodies need a break. My older hens--after 18 months--always take the winter off and start back up in the spring. It's how nature designed them.
     
  8. charm

    charm Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Feb 24, 2011
    Thank you so much for the replys. I feel better now. Have a great thanksgiving!
     
  9. Yep, one or two of ours will do that.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by