Lack of eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Grum P Oldamn, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. Grum P Oldamn

    Grum P Oldamn Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 5 chickens wandering freely around the farm...I bought pairs of brreds (what I liked the look of rather than specific breeds) (I did have six, but, well there is another thread discussing the issue of predators) My rooster (a fine looking chap) has matured from when he first arrived and now really does look after his girls rather than running up and grabbing all the food he can first.

    My problem is that from the start I waited months for the first eggs (that's ok, I knew they were youngsters when I got them, I wanted to maximise their laying potential) but the best I have ever had is two eggs a day, no that has dried up as well. I have a light on in the coop that extends the day to 18 hours, they have free and full access to food and water, The wander around the area freely, picking up whatever they find, scratching away at everything, they all look fit and healthy, they all look happy.

    Well actually, there is something there..... two of the girls have never matured...... their combs and wattles have remained tiny, one of them is particularly henpecked and apart from roosting with the others at night she goes of on her own looking for food.

    The rest, look well fed (they all have full crops at the end of the day) they seem to be well adjusted chickens and the rooster is doing his job at any opportunity :)

    BUT, no more eggs! And the eggs I was getting were only coming from two of the girls anyway... where am I going wrong? I know they stop laying over winter with the drop of daylight hours, hence putting the lighting in the coop. Is there anything more that I can do to restart (or actually start) the egg laying process? is there a fundamental issue that is missing from my chickens lives that have made them decide that they won't bother laying..... I never had this when I kept chickens years ago so I am getting a little peeved :)

    Ok, so the chickens only produce for me, but it would be nice if they actually did produce, with winter coming I am weighing up the options, keep them over winter and hope that they start laying next year (which does seem a little late in the day) or do I enjoy fresh free range chicken at the weekends?

    Any suggestions, tips or advice will be gratefully appreciated
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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  3. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What breeds are the hens, and how old are they?

    Can you post pictures of them?

    That would help.
     
  4. Grum P Oldamn

    Grum P Oldamn Out Of The Brooder

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    yeah, I would have thought that too..... but I have been keeping them in until after lunch time, and until the lack of eggs they were coming back to lay.... was considering putting a pepper corn up their bums to see where they run (apparently it works)
     
  5. Grum P Oldamn

    Grum P Oldamn Out Of The Brooder

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    Will get round to taking a few pics of the offenders.....
     
  6. lauranickerson

    lauranickerson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm curious to see what everyone else says because I'm having the same problem with my young hens. I was up to about 8-9 eggs a day about 2 weeks ago and now I'm lucky if I get 1 or 2...and 1 is from my duck! We've only lost MAYBE an hour of light.
     
  7. sbhkma

    sbhkma Chillin' With My Peeps

    I could have sworn my girls were all laying in the nest boxes. Turns out one of them wasn't. She would wait all day if need be and then go lay in the rose bushes. She still does. I keep a ceramic egg there now so that, since she's going to insist, at least this way I am pretty confident that she's going to lay in the rose bushes and I know where to look. If you can't beat em.. figure out how to work with their tendencies, right?
    If you suddenly stop getting eggs and they're not molting and they're free ranging during the day, your best bet is to figure out where their super sekrut hidey hole is and then lock em up for a few days so they're forced to lay in the nest box. Worked for all mine except my one stubborn speckled sussex. If you too have a stubborn hen, just put a ceramic egg in the nest she's chosen so you don't have to play Easter Egg Hunt daily. At least that's what worked for me.
     
  8. Grum P Oldamn

    Grum P Oldamn Out Of The Brooder

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    It has been suggested to me that they are in moult and therefore will stop laying but, I'm not really seeing signs of that..... will take a good look around the house and see if I can find any nests.
     
  9. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How old are your hens?
     
  10. Grum P Oldamn

    Grum P Oldamn Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 28, 2013
    I go them in May, they were probably around 6 - 8 weeks old, their combs hadn't formed but they were pretty well full grown......checking them yesterday I saw that the layers were definitely in moult, so this exlplains it :) looking forward to production restarting :)

    Also took photo's so will post later
     

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