Light brahma egg drama

Rchlzr0

In the Brooder
Aug 19, 2020
4
9
19
Good day! I am new to raising chickens and received my chickens from Cackle Hatchery in mid April 2020. I ordered 5 white brahmas and they sent a bonus white rock. The white rock started laying in October followed by one light Brahma. They both laid for a couple of weeks have have not laid an egg since the beginning of November. I was getting about an egg a day. I’ve read that light brahmas are slow to lay but I wanted to get advice. We live at 6,000 ft in the mountains in Idaho. We have a very cold climate. They live in a Eglu 5m coop, with the cold weather coop jacket, heated perch, and water heater. I give them fresh water daily and they eat scratch and peck feed organic layer- With 16% protein. I give them kitchen scraps, Crushed oyster shells, Bird seed and dried fly larva as snacks. I have noticed where I put the coop for the winter (it’s frozen to the ground so I can’t move it) doesn’t have much sun in the afternoon so then I put a red heat lamp on a timer under the coop in the run. I open and close the nesting box in the coop in the morning and shut in in the evening so they don’t poop in it. They will not leave the run when I open the door, they hate the snow. Please help!! My husband is starting to threaten the flock saying they are too crowded, and joking about eating a chicken dinner for Christmas. I am always hopeful that they will lay tomorrow. Thank you in advance for any advice you may have.
thank you,
Rachel
 

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Allthefloofs

Songster
Sep 16, 2020
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Scottsdale, AZ
First off, I hope you like your eglu, we have one and love it! Secondly, that is not enough space for them. I would look into getting a larger run. The rule is 4 sq ft per bird in the run. I have a large omlet run, the 9x12 one for 7 birds and that feels a smidge tight, but even if you got a smaller one and put some tarps up in some places, leaving some space for ventilation it would be better, that way the snow can melt and they have space to run around. Good luck!
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
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Secondly, that is not enough space for them. I would look into getting a larger run. The rule is 4 sq ft per bird in the run. I have a large omlet run, the 9x12 one for 7 birds and that feels a smidge tight, but even if you got a smaller one and put some tarps up in some places, leaving some space for ventilation it would be better

Recommended minimums are 4 sq ft in the coop, 10 sq ft in the run.

OP: Those birds are pretty tightly packed, and you mention they won't go out, have you tried shoveling a clearing for them to use?

Also x2 on ventilation, I don't see any ventilation in the run cover. It's extremely important in the winter to not try and button up so tightly that there's no ventilation at all, in both coop and run.

Also I'd axe the heat lamp, that's a fire hazard/ burn hazard waiting to happen. If you're trying to supplement light to encourage laying, a regular bulb inside the coop and set to early morning hours is what you'd actually want (though I don't know if supplemental light works the same for pullets)
 

CHlCKEN

🍂 Chicken Herder 🍂
Premium Feather Member
Jun 21, 2020
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Definitely to small of a coop and run. Omelet sells much larger and better runs, which I think would house your birds well. However, this could get expensive, so if can’t upsize your coop, you might need to downsize your flock. I do agree wit your husband in size, but seeing as you probably love your birds, I disagree hat you should “es one for Christmas.” Rather, I think you could address the issue and find a way to fix it, without having to eat Anyone :)

I love Cackle Hatchery by the way! Good choice, and Good breed choice to! I love Sussex!
i agree with @rosemarythyme ’s post :goodpost:
 

Rchlzr0

In the Brooder
Aug 19, 2020
4
9
19
UPDATE! I am getting eggs and the chickens are all still alive!! Thank you all so much for your responses. I increased the ventilation, kept the heat lamp on the timer (it's been -20F and beyond this winter and with the lack of sun, they need the light), fed them hotdogs (which got them outside the coop), stopped shutting the nesting box at night (to give them more space), and am getting about 3 eggs a day! They will be in a new sunny location next winter, and hope to not have to use the heat lamp. I am happy I got the light Brahmas because they are all really sweet to each other and get along so well. Also they are so smart- they peck at the heatlamp and turn it to thaw the ground, dug out a pit and so they can take heated dust baths. Don't fret- I have the heatlamp extremely secure. Just an interesting observation.
 

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