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How to get them laying again?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by polychickens, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. polychickens

    polychickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2007
    With the weather change, my egg production has gone from over 30 daily to around 5 per day. First, the ameraucanas quit...no green eggs for well over a month. Next the brown leghorns gave out--haven't seen a white egg in 2 weeks and they used to lay every single day. Even my brown egg layers have slowed, but at least I get 5/day.

    How can I get them to start laying again? Three flood lights are on a timer in the coop to add around 3 hours of light in the morning and evening. Is there anything else I can try or do I have to wait until spring? It is getting rediculously expensive to feed these non-producers.

    PC
     
  2. chickenranchwife

    chickenranchwife Chillin' With My Peeps

    Are you feeding them any layer mesh, and Oyster Shells? Are they staying in their nesting boxes? They may have gone broodie. I think they need more light. Do you have windows on your coop for added light for them? I know I had one window covered on mine and their production was down. It sure helps if they can go out during the day. It was in the 40's here yesterday so I let mine out. They sure produce better the more light they get. Hope this helps!
     
  3. thechickenfarmer

    thechickenfarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2007
    Connecticut
    Are you sure it's just the light? My chickens are going through their annual molt, some of mine haven't laid an egg in well over a month. If your chickens are molting then giving them extra protein will help. [​IMG] Jen
     
  4. polychickens

    polychickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2007
    They are eating tons of commercial layer crumbles and have plenty of fresh water on a heated base so that it doesn't freeze. They eat minimal amounts of oyster shell.

    The coop has some windows and a corrugated fiberglass roof that allows in some daylight, but I'll admit that it is maybe a little dim on these gray wintry days. This morning, I adjusted my timer so that the lights will turn on three hours before sunrise and stay on throughout the day until 3 hours after dusk. They have been turning off at sunrise and remaining off during the day, so I'm experimenting to see if more light during the day will help.

    They have access to an enclosed run, but the ground is bare dirt at this point. I toss table scraps in there but there are no bugs/grass to be found anymore.

    Maybe 2 out of 45 are losing feathers and looking kinda ugly, so molting could be a factor, but my ameraucanas and leghorns look great and are not laying at all.

    How long should I expect them to be freeloaders? (eating but not laying)
    PC
     
  5. thechickenfarmer

    thechickenfarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2007
    Connecticut
    How old are they?
     
  6. polychickens

    polychickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2007
    Lets see, I got my first eggs August 7th from my 21 weekers, so that makes my oldest around 38 weeks. Some are 34 weeks. Others, including the ameraucanas are around 28-30 weeks. I also have some younger gals that aren't laying age yet.
    PC
     
  7. chickbea

    chickbea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2007
    Vermont
    Unfortunately, I have to leave my coop light on all day also. I've tried to get away with having the timer turn off the lights once the sun is good and up, but a lot of these winter days are just too gray to keep the girls going, especially the further North you are. My light comes on at 6:00AM and goes off at 8:30PM - not as much light as they get in the summer, of course, but adequate to keep them laying enough eggs so that I don't have to buy any.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. chickenman7

    chickenman7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 11, 2007
    TX
    30 eggs a day!!!:eek: :eek: :eek: You must have a lot of hens [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2007
  9. buc

    buc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 20, 2007
    kansas
    Quote:I thought the same thing, mine are averaging 8-12 a day, even during the cold weather. My advice is to make sure they have a lot of clean ice free water for as many hours as possible.
     

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