Is it possible to discourage egg laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by robinwiththechickens, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. robinwiththechickens

    robinwiththechickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    126
    30
    123
    Apr 28, 2011
    Riverton, Wyoming
    Sounds stupid I know, but I recently adopted an 18-month old RIR that is going through a hard molt. She's nearly bald, but has laid 3 or 4 eggs in the week that I've had her. I'd much rather she worked on growing feathers right now! She looks so pathetic, the eggs can wait! She is being allowed to free-range in the house because a.) all my chickies are spoiled, and b.) it is so cold outside most of the day. She lays her eggs in a plastic tub at the foot of my bed. As much fun as it is to have an indoor chicken, she needs to go out to the coop ASAP.

    Does the fact that she is laying mean the feather loss isn't a molt? If it's not that, then what is it?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,699
    2,648
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    If you don't see lice or mites I'm sure it's a molt and I'd let nature take it's course. Don't worry, give extra protein and I can't imagine it's that cold in Arizona that you need to worry about temps unless you're up in the mountains.
     
  3. tec27

    tec27 Chillin' With My Peeps

    676
    24
    136
    May 6, 2011
    Pittsburgh
    If she's laying eggs, the feather lose is no mind to her. Typically chickens will only lay eggs in "ideal" situations. When there is enough food, nutrients, water, bearable weather... So having no feathers must not get to her too much.
     
  4. robinwiththechickens

    robinwiththechickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    126
    30
    123
    Apr 28, 2011
    Riverton, Wyoming
    We did notice a few lice, and dusted for them right away. I have not noticed mites, but I really don't know what I'm looking for. I haven't seen anything that looks like mite infestation in some of the pictures in other threads.

    I do live in Northern Arizona at an elevation over 5,000 feet, overnight temps have been in the teens and twenties. The first night I brought them home, last Monday, I had her in a cage on the uninsulated porch and she was shivering. I know I certainly wouldn't want to sleep outside right now if I were naked!

    The guy we got her from had told us that she had stopped laying, that's why he was getting rid of her. [​IMG]

    I just wish she would hurry up and grow her feathers back...it makes me a little sad to look at the poor naked girl.
     
  5. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,926
    23
    163
    Apr 11, 2011
    Ohio
    You could keep her in a dark place without much light, that might slow her down. She does look a little sad without all those feathers.

    But hey at least you get breakfast near bed :)
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,699
    2,648
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Well then, I'd up the protein till she looks better. Try switching to a grower or flock raiser at about 20% or so and limit anything like scratch grains that's not high protein.
     
  7. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,940
    2,922
    421
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    It might be possible to slow down her laying by withholding layer feed and feeding just a high protein flock raiser. I've been told the ingredients in layer feed stimulate egg production.

    Also, by keeping her inside exclusively, she's being deprived of the stimulant of the cold weather to encourage faster feather replacement. I would let her outside during the daytime and let her sleep inside at night. Make sure she has total darkness between sunset and sunrise.

    You could also stimulate faster feather growth by feeding her tuna occasionally, and mix BOSS in her feed. I had a hen once who was stuck in molt. I got her "unstuck" by feeding her lots of high grade protein.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by