I have 40 plus chickens. some are a year old, some are 2 years old.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by leslie, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. leslie

    leslie In the Brooder

    Apr 21, 2008
    I get one egg a day.
    I feed 22 percent chicken layer.. and scratch and much from the garden. they have 10 plus acres to range.. what could be the matter?
  2. Toast n Jelly

    Toast n Jelly Songster

    Jan 29, 2007
    They are laying somewhere on the 10 acres perhaps? I'll bet that you'll find tons of them in neat little nests...Let us know!
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 24, 2008
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I bet they are hiding their eggs and you can't find them. Try keeping them in a run for a week and see how many you find. Else you have something eating the eggs or stealing them. Also possible that moult slowed them, but not down to just one at a year or two old.
  4. leslie

    leslie In the Brooder

    Apr 21, 2008
    I constructed a small "holding" pen just outside the door of the chicken house. PUt them all in there and began my watch. fed them good good fresh water.
    not a egg in sight.
    about 1pm i placed a nest of 3 units in the area, had fresh clean straw. then i placaed a pigeon egg in one of the nest. (i did not have a hen egg).
    I watched but not constantly.
    several of the hens went into the nest. seemed very curious but did not stay long.
    after a short while..probably 2 hours i ck'd the nest. the egg was gone. not a sign of yolk, white or egg shell. not a microscope bit of it was there. the fresh hay in the nest was clean as ever.
    how could a snake get in there without causing any commotion? but also could the chickens eat the eggs without leaving a trace? and of the 29 hens that area in this pen, could a snake eat the amount of eggs that should be laid?
    they are as healthy as ive ever seen chickens. strong and beautiful. i changed feed stores and brand of food incase the feed was tainted somehow.. what in the world is going on?
    oh the rooster is not even paying attention to the hens. he ignores them..
  5. It sounds like the chickens are egg eaters.
  6. leslie

    leslie In the Brooder

    Apr 21, 2008
    could t hey eat that many eggs without leaving a crumb laying around? and what can i do about it if they are doing that? lace an egg with cayenne pepper? seems ive heard somethng on this but i dont remember.
    should i just use them for target practice? im spending 80 dollars a month on feed and getting NO NONE NOT A negative on the eggs... Im furious. and perplexed.
    ive been guilty of feeding them egg shells.. but i smash them good before i do.. making sure th ey dont look like eggs.
    if they want to provide t heir own food thats fine.. but to ask me to suppliement wit this good expensive feed is not working for me.. plus the work ahhhhhhhhhhh
  7. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Chickens do not have heat receptors so the pepper thing won't work if you are trying to deter them from eating their own eggs.
  8. leslie

    leslie In the Brooder

    Apr 21, 2008
    I just f uond the article from backyardpoultry in this area of the site. it was great information.
    i had a chicken who laid elastic shell eggs. like a water balloon. it was usually broken by the time i found it. i could never identify who was the layer of this type egg. i could think that this introduced the girls to the delicious eggs. but it was always in a mess of yolk and white.. very obvious that it had been laid and broken.
    could they be eating them and not leave a single clue? i would think that with 29 hens all of good laying age and healthy as i can see.. i think they are healthy. now i did see some black tar like feces a few weeks ago but this was after eating a lot of water melon and much veggies from the garden.. when i stopped and went back to only purchased chicken feed the black tar like stools stopped.
    im amazed that the rooster who is a very handsome fellow and strong as can be..does not seem to be interested in them.
    i removed all the younger chickens who could be roosters or too young to lay and now all that is in that pen is strong healthy looking hens.. from various places. not all the same kind or from the same rooster or hen.
    i did make a mistake earlier in my addiction to having the same rooster for about 3 generations of chicks.. i swapped him a gorgeous ee roo and got a g rand rhode island red. he was very interested in his job until recently. now hes just o ne of the girls. they just dont interest him anymore.
    if they are eating the eggs what can i do i r eally dont see me being able to sit and watch them all day long.
  9. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    Just curious, why are you feeding 22% feed and not 16% layer pellets or crumble? If you birds are free ranging you need to have an egg hunt. They must be laying somewhere besides your nests.
  10. leslie

    leslie In the Brooder

    Apr 21, 2008
    I thought 22 percent was the best. help me on this.
    Yesterday I placed a 3 nest unit in the small pen Ive put up for the hens. I put a pigeon egg in it and it stayed all day.
    I kept a close watch all day on the hens. Only one hen laid an egg. a Barred Rock beautiful hen.
    Several hens got up to the nest and inspected the nest and the pigeon egg but it remained in the nest.
    I noticed that few of the hens have deep red in their comb. the one that laid has bright red comb.
    I do not t hink they were laying in the bushes of the free range.
    I discovered one hen that did not come off the roost all day. She had a huge sag like at her rear dangling down .. i inspected her closer and found that she is very ratty looking.. dirty feathers. her crop was totally empty and i think her gut was totally empty. the feathers around her anus and the area between her anus and the legs was loose and the feathers were sparse. looked like sticks coming out of the skin with fringe on the ends. pulled out very easily.
    I put her in the pen with food and she did start eating. but she looks weak and tho she is young she looked like an old beat up hen to me.
    I think they might be in molt. from all ive read on this.. it seems it could be that.
    IVe never had more than 8 eggs in a day from these girls but some were young and i rationalized that as the problem. they will be 12 months old on halloween. and i have only had a few eggs that i identified as from a young hen.
    im seriously thinking about target practice ... or getting rid of all of t hem.
    today im putting in lightening with a timer to s tart their day a little earlier. I have one more bag of food and if something does not improve there will be a change in my lifesyle.. im spending 40 dollars twice a month plus an hour or more of my time each day and im not getting a t hing out of it. wasnt getting much before they stopped totally.
    im also going to call the agriculture man out today and have him give me his opinion on this.
    how old is too old to process and eat. ? and about roosters... do you eat them too? ive heard they will be tough.
    just what age is right for eating.. ? i have 18 yes 18 roos in another pen various ages.. they gotta go. but are so beautiful i can hardly stand to think of processing them.
    I have one that is a barred rock mixed with a rir and he is magnificent.. totaly the most magestic thing ive ever seen. all of them are gorgeous. it would be so much easier if they were butt ugly. thanks for your responses.

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