Is this Fact or Fiction?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Sweepy, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. Sweepy

    Sweepy Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 8, 2013
    We 4 birds who are "of age," 3 Doms and 1 EE. 2 of the Doms have very bright and developed combs and are now 32 weeks old. At 23 weeks of age, back in mid-Oct, we got 2 eggs a day apart from 1 or 2 of our Dominiques. I suspect that one bird laid both of the eggsSome of you may remember my posts that followed for the few weeks after wondering why we got these 2 eggs and no more. To this day, we've not seen another egg!

    My mom just recently had a conversation with some of our family back in Tennessee and was telling them about our frustration with our chicks not laying and here's what they said. If there is more than one rooster in the coop, hens will not lay. This sounds like an old wives tale to me. I don't think I've ever seen or read anything like this before in all my chicken research. Anyone have any experience with this or heard this before?

    Coincidentally, we did add 7 CX birds (mostly cocks) to the coop with a divider so we could control the food intake for the separate clutches just a couple of days before that first egg. I know it can take a day or two for the egg to work through the process of development before it's layed so if there's any truth to this, it does seem to fit the timeline of events. Once we cycled 2 clutches of CX birds through the coop, we added 6 more egg birds, 2 of which are roos. What do you think? Could this be why we're still eating store-bought eggs?

    And I know someone is gonna want to tell me about the 14 hours of light and shorter days and blah blah blah. I keep hearing that shorter daylight hours will "slow down" production but I'm not seeing anyone say that it "stops" it. It's been 2 months since we've seen an egg. Also, I've learned that production stops for a season of molt but it also seems that they are too young for a molt and I don't see many feathers in the coop to suggest that to be the reason.

    Could this be our problem, two roosters in the hen house?
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Multiple males doesn't help. It's primarily the light.
    It's not blah, blah. Sometimes what folks "share" is indeed mostly old tales, but the lack of light is science. Believe it and employ the lights, or just wait until February and nature will provide you longer days naturally. It's entirely up to you.

    No, chickens don't seriously moult until they are 18 months, on average.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Follow your instincts on this one. The two rooster thing is a really weird old wives tale. If that were true, chickens would be extinct. Many of us keep more than one rooster in the flock and get plenty of eggs.

    I don’t know what is going on with your pullets, but having more than one rooster in there is not the problem.
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    I've kept 3 roosters with 4 hens once and still got eggs from my hens, though it was not an ideal situation. No two flocks are the same and different scenarios work for different flock keepers, but in general I'd suggest a minimum 6-8 hens to a rooster and if you want to keep more than one rooster with your flock make sure there is enough space for each to hang out with it's own hens and there is no fighting over the hens.

    There is a number of causes that stops hens laying: stress, diseases, internal or external parasites, incorrect feeding, egg eating, predators stealing eggs and shorter days... If you want to read more about it have a look here:
  5. 3chickchicks

    3chickchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2013
    N. Texas
    So how many roosters to hens do you have? Too many roosters can stress them.
    Some birds do stop laying in the winter due to less light. Breed charts usually specify what breeds will lay through winter.
  6. Sweepy

    Sweepy Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 8, 2013
    We have a total of 10 birds, 2 EE cocks at 14 weeks, 4 EE pullets at 14 weeks, 1 EE mix at 29 or 30 weeks, 3 Dominiques at 32 weeks.

    Just to be clear, my "blah, blah, blah" about the light is not because I don't believe that to be true. Just that I've read it about a million times on here and also in every other resource on chickens. I was hoping just to shortcut redundancy regarding the light issue. I don't doubt that to be a reason why our birds would SLOW DOWN. However, I suspect it wouldn't be a reason for them to STOP laying after giving 2 eggs and then not another egg for 2 months (and counting). We are actually looking to light our coop for the purpose of eliminating that as a factor to see if we can get SOME, if only occasional, eggs before rehoming one or our roos. Especially since we went ahead and ran electricity to the coop to keep their water from freezing.

    I like the notion of if this were true, we'd be out of chickens. Certainly evidence for debunking this idea.

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