Layers not producing. What now?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by BigEd, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. BigEd

    BigEd New Egg

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    Nov 5, 2009
    I have 14 layers that have stopped being productive. I get 2 eggs a day. But my wife doesnt want me to send them to slaughter. Are there any chicken sanctuaries that take older layers? I saw one in Vermont but it seemed like they rescued refugees from the poultry industry.
     
  2. Impress

    Impress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2011
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    How old are they? I have 5 year old chickens that still lay, so you may want to see if they are just having protein issues or health problems before you go getting rid of them. Or a molt.
     
  3. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the South
    Most likely your birds are going into or already in the moult.

    They don't lay during the moult: 6 to 10 weeks.
     
  4. littlecreekfarm

    littlecreekfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 1, 2011
    Virginia
    How old are they? Your Hens may be molting.
     
  5. FrenchToast

    FrenchToast "Draft Apple Ridge" a Bit from Heaven

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    Make sure they're water doesn't get empty. Even a day without water will stop their egg production and it may take a while to pick up. But I agree, they could be starting a moult. You may want to up their protien levels, suppose to get them thru the moult quicker as they need extra protien to grow the new feathers. Also make sure you have oyster shell available for calcium.
     
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    If this is their first fall laying as hens, not pullets, they may slow down or stop laying while molting and/or when effected by the shorter days of winter. As pullets, they aren't usually effected by those things.
     
  7. MyBlackHen

    MyBlackHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm having the same problem with my oldest batch of chickens - 9 of them and they are about 15 months old. I think it's what someone else said - molting combined with more sensitivity to the shorter days. Last year when they were pullets, they started laying in September and went straight through the winter with hardly any slowdown. I had a light on a timer in the coop to give them 14 hours of light. This year I am noticing that they aren't producing as well. It was funny because I started a log of egg types (I have many different breeds and I can tell who is laying most of them) and I told my husband that I wanted to harvest the non-layers before Christmas. Well wouldn't you know, egg production from my two Easter Eggers went up like crazy! It was like they heard me and understood! [​IMG] But that lasted for about a month, and now it's petered out (and I can see that they are molting). So I am going to be patient and wait until the end of the fall to see what the situation is.

    Question - how many times a year on average do hens molt?

    Also - what does giving them more protein entail? A change of food type or a supplement? And will the increased protein negatively impact my pullets who are just now starting to lay?

    Thanks for the info! [​IMG]
     
  8. Dutchgirl

    Dutchgirl Not Dutch!

    Apr 1, 2008
    U.S.A.
    How old are these birds? I know a chicken owner who butchers his layers at 2 years when their egg production slows.

    However, we've kept our oldest hen for six years. At around 3 years she stopped laying almost completely. Then this year she suddenly started up again. She also got broody for the first time in her life. Chickens are weird like that.

    You could always sell them as pets. [​IMG]
     

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