It's been weeks since Leghorns have laid

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by irf1983, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. irf1983

    irf1983 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2009
    Brooksville, FL
    I know this time of year egg production drops off, but it has been at least 2 weeks since any of my leghorns have laid. We're getting maybe two eggs a day from 8 hens. Yesterday we got none. The EEs seem to be the only ones laying with any regularity. They are all pullets, is this kind of gap normal? Thanks!
     
  2. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Yes, and especially in the deep south. It could be they are still in molt. Do you see lots of feathers in run, nests, and on floor of coop? You can give them calf-manna for extra protein in that case. It will help their feathers re grow, and that has to happen before their body system will allow them to return to egg production. It is a built-in protection for them to have adequate cover for the cooler weather that follows molt. Have read of cases lasting as long as 5 months, but that is extreme. 2 months would seem as good as you can get in really warm climate. If they are free-rangers, confine them and see if eggs suddenly appear. You will have to give them lots of live fresh greens tho to replace what they forage for. The calf-manna will more than replace the bugs/protein they would find free-ranging. Disgusting as it may be, palmetto bugs are likely great source of protein too and I know you have plenty of those down there . I would rather buy the calf-manna tho ! [​IMG]
     
  3. irf1983

    irf1983 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2009
    Brooksville, FL
    Quote:Thanks very much, there are lots of feathers. Is lighting an issue as well, it gets dark so early now. I'll make sure they get extra protein, there run is littered with palmetto bugs at night, it should be easy. Thanks again!
     
  4. CityClucks

    CityClucks The Center of a 50 Mile Radius

    Jan 31, 2009
    Tulsa, OK
    Hey irf, once they're finished with the molt, you might try putting a regular 60 watt light bulb on a timer in your run. I have a light that comes on at 5 in the morning and goes off at 7:30 a.m. - my egg production has increased from 3-4 per day to 8-9 per day (12 pullets).
     
  5. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    You may also want to check for egg-eating. i have six standard-size chickens and egg production was down to one or none. Started going out more regularly after finding a peck mark in one of the eggs. Now i'm up to three eggs a day.
     
  6. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    I have 3 leghorns in my flock and 2 have been molting FOREVER!! Like weeks.........it is very frustrating, it seems like it is taking them forever to molt. Others were barely noticeable. Not these girls--especially when they're my only white egg layers. Hang in there!!
     
  7. can you hear me now?

    can you hear me now? Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2008
    Southwest Missouri
    Of course molting is an issue. Just want to reiterate the whole light on a timer thing as well. The lights when the days get shorter are necessary in order to get them to lay. I try to make sure my birds get 14 hours of light a day with my timer.
     
  8. wombat

    wombat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2009
    The rule of thumb for commercial leghorns is a return to 50% production at 10 weeks. That's for forced molts in production environments, but it might give you some idea of how long yours might need for molting.
     
  9. irf1983

    irf1983 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2009
    Brooksville, FL
    can you hear me now? :

    Of course molting is an issue. Just want to reiterate the whole light on a timer thing as well. The lights when the days get shorter are necessary in order to get them to lay. I try to make sure my birds get 14 hours of light a day with my timer.

    I have three runs joined together, the nesting boxes are in the middle run, and the coop is attached to the front run. Should I light up the coop where they sleep or the nesting boxes?​
     
  10. wombat

    wombat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2009
    The coop.

    The idea is to provide light in the area they are spending time in, to simulate the daylight period being longer.
     

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