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Hybrids and egg laying ?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PattyO, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. PattyO

    PattyO Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 25, 2010
    I have five red sex linked hens that are one year and ten months. They started laying Sept 20 2010. Layed pretty much an egg a day once they got out the initial kinks. Layed all through the first winter. I gradually switched feed from Purina Layena to Countryside Organics starting Dec 20 2011. Since switching feed I have noticed smaller droppings. Didnt seem to eat as much as they did with the Purina. They like it when I moisten it with water. Try to provide both dry and moistened. They are fed free choice with greens and a little apple late afternoon. They always have grit and oyster shell and I give them their egg shells. I have always had some shelless eggs but there has been a dramatic increase. Big decrease in production in general. Could this be due to the food or possibly their age? Do these hybrids take breaks like the purebred birds? I would hate to think it is the food. I thought I was doing them a favor.
     
  2. Hyline

    Hyline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 10, 2012
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    I would say the food - go back to what worked and see what happens. I have had the same thing with my hybrid layers when I switched the feed - went back to their old layer crumble and they are back to normal. The poor hybrid layers really lay themselves half to death and seem to be very susceptible to dietary changes in my experience.
     
  3. PattyO

    PattyO Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 25, 2010
    Thanks I will definitely do that. In your experience how long do these hybrids usually lay. Does their life span differ from that of the purebred?
     
  4. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 25, 2011
    Boise
    I have red SLs myself, and am enjoying the heck out of them. I have noticed that they have more demanding dietary needs as well, but I wasn't very surprised because they are constantly laying. It takes a lot of their body resources to produce an egg so often and so faithfully. A lot of organic feeds just arn't up to the job, unfortunately.

    Because these are hybrids, there isn't a set rule for their production capacity. Most of it depends on the hatchery you get them from. Some strains will lay well into their 3rd and 4th year, but some kind of peter out at year 2. I know from experience, the strain available from my local hatchery is one of the ones that kind of quit at 2 to 3 years. But right now they're laying gangbusters after the 1 year mark.
     
  5. PattyO

    PattyO Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 25, 2010
    Thanks for the info. Makes me a little sad.
     

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