Lemon EE, feathers falling out, 24 weeks old, no eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ccstarbuckle, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. ccstarbuckle

    ccstarbuckle In the Brooder

    Jan 28, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Hi there! I have a lemon EE, and about 80% of the feathers in the chicken yard are hers. She had hopped the fence about a month ago and our dog tried to "help" me catch her. Luckily, she survived but has been tossing feathers ever since. Do you think she'll ever lay eggs? Our dog tries to herd them now (from his side of the fence) whenever they get too close to the fence that separates the chicken yard from the back yard. Could this be too stressful for them?

    Also, all my chickens are 24 weeks old, (the wellsummer is 25 weeks) and none of them seem to be laying yet. They all free range in their yard but I have only heard the egg laying sqwak/cackle twice, but no eggs have been found! I am switching the style of nest to a box (the previous one has no side walls) and putting golfballs in it but it seems like they should be laying by now? I was told approximately 20 weeks at the Urban Farm Store, where I got the chicks. So now, I am getting a little concerned.

    I have a wellsummer, BR, bantam apenzellar spitzhauben and 2 EE (sold to me as ameraucanas but they have green legs)

    Eating: OG layer feed, scratch and table scraps

    lifestyle: free range during the day, coop from dark to about 10 am.

    Thanks for reading this, any insight would be helpful!

  2. StarLover21

    StarLover21 Songster

    Oct 11, 2011
    This is perfectly normal: she's molting, chickens lose all their feather and grow in new ones once a year in the winter. While they are doing this, they stop laying, but she'll start as soon as she's done.
  3. ccstarbuckle

    ccstarbuckle In the Brooder

    Jan 28, 2012
    Portland, OR
    oh ok, that's interesting. They can start molting before they start laying eggs? Also, the weather has been consistently 80-95 degrees over this past month. I have another EE from the same catch of eggs, so to speak and she's not molting. I guess this is a personal thing? Or perhaps some hens have a better sense of the season than others. lol

    I did just read that excessive heat can reduce production and it has been really hot. It's finally cooling down the last couple of days. Could that be why their laying has been delayed? I was wondering if it was more due to stress, although they just run away from the fence, when our dog tells them they are too close. I just hope they start laying before it gets too cold and dark!
  4. Choco Maran

    Choco Maran Songster

    Jul 25, 2009
    Ribera New Mexico
    I would add more protein in their diet and this will help with the molting and laying eggs. It take about 12-14 percent protein to lay an egg and about 14 percent to regrow feather, this is why they stop laying. By adding protein to their deit it helps regrow feather faster and the laying returns or starts sooner. This has been my experience any way.

    I use calf Manna to add extra protein.

  5. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

    May 11, 2011
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    Young chickens go through a few molts prior to laying, actually. Plus, if she was severely stressed out by the dog encounter, it didn't help. As long as she's getting proper feed in and plenty of water and is acting normal, then just be patient. Once she gets her new feathers back in, the eggs will come.
  6. 7 Biddies

    7 Biddies Songster

    May 22, 2012
    NE GA Mountains
    My Coop
    Ooooo. Sounds pretty. Do you have photos ... *before* molting?

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