Is there anything I can do to get them to lay again?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by emmak, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. emmak

    emmak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2010
    North Central Texas
    I have three hens. One (Ameracauna) has never laid, so I think she just hasn't matured enough yet. My Golden Comet laid for two weeks in early May, then stopped and hasn't laid since. My Old English banty laid for about two weeks in June. Now she's stopped. I keep them comfortable, considering how hot it is here in N. Texas, with a misting system and shade. They have great food (lay crumble, scratch, oyster shell, and healthy veggie scraps), and don't seem to be ill or upset. I don't know what else I can do. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    It could be the heat or are they losing feathers, maybe molting? Any changes in their living conditions?

    Imp
     
  3. kudzu vine

    kudzu vine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My hens were laying great this winter here in N. Mississippi, but then they pretty much stopped. It is also very hot here. So I tried this and it's still working. I cut my cracked corn back to about 10%, 90% Laying pellets. I let mine out in the morning to range a large fenced backyard and I don't feed them. In their house I have a fan and a 15w bulb that runs 24/7. I feed them mid afternoon and when I put them up at night. My egg production has doubled. I think it is a mixture of laying pellets and the light. Hope this helps.
     
  4. emmak

    emmak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2010
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    Quote:There are a few feathers around, but from what I've heard on here about molting, it doesn't seem to be enough. Also, no spots on the hens without feathers. Their living conditions have been pretty stable. We added a chicken back in May. That was when my Golden Comet quit laying, but she's had plenty of time to adjust. All three chickens get along very well. My banty Old English stopped laying around the time we went on vacation for four days. I had two other people caring for them. We've been back home now for two weeks. Still no eggs. BTW they don't get much scratch, mostly lay crumble. There's ten percent or less scratch which got mixed into the crumbles by accident.
     
  5. newTexan2chickens

    newTexan2chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2010
    Are you sure you don't have a snake? I am in N. Texas too and just got chickens.... been adding hens that are already laying.... and they usually lay the next day after I get them. The only time I had an egg drought my DH went into the chicken coop and found a 5ft chicken snake.... full of eggs!
     
  6. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    If they just started laying then they aren't ready to molt--takes a year. I suspect it is the heat--extreme heat or cold will throw them off. Are your birds being given a source of calcium--i.e. crushed oyster shells? Depending on what they can glean from their food source this can cause them to produce eggs with thin shells or none at all. Or they could be laying someplace where the eggs are hidden from you.
     
  7. emmak

    emmak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2010
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    Quote:You mentioned you're in N. Texas, too. Is the heat affecting your egg production? If I have a snake, it must be very conscientious, because I check every afternoon for eggs. I'm thinking about putting an older egg out there and see if it disappears . . .
     
  8. emmak

    emmak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2010
    North Central Texas
    This is an update. I put an older egg out to see if it disappeared. It didn't. After a few days, however, the hen who laid that egg started laying again! Finally! She is an old english bantam, and she lays beautiful small light brown eggs. She has been laying every other days for a week, and then she laid two days in a row. Still nothing from my two other hens. One never has laid, and the other one laid for a while and stopped. Well, at least my sweet little hen is earning her keep.
     
  9. Red Maple Farms

    Red Maple Farms Wish Granted

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    Feb 25, 2010
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    Just how old are your layers?
     
  10. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it's the heat.

    My smallest Serama/OEGB bantam has kept pumping out the eggs without a break, but her two flock mates who are a bit larger stopped for a while when temps started hitting the mid 90's and above. I tried different things to keep them cooler, but what finally seemed to make a difference is parking their tractor in the deepest shade in the yard, then hosing the grass in it down every hour or so in the afternoon (after letting the chickens out first, of course). All three hens are laying again, now.

    Some days when they are ready to lay in the afternoon, I bring one of our portable nestboxes into our indoor bird room and let them lay inside in air conditioned comfort. They really seem to appreciate that!
     

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