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My Chickens havnt been laying for months!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kirstie, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. kirstie

    kirstie Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 11, 2012
    Ok so it started late summer about the last week in August, I have 17 egg layers and was getting about a dozen a day since January. Then all of a sudden I start getting ONE a day! I live in Northern California and it is pretty cold at night right now but it doesnt get too hot in the summers or cold in winter. I feed a mix of lay crumble, hen scratch, oyster shells and flax seed that I mix myself. I have a light on them at night to keep laying going. I know they were moulting but im not sure how long that is supposed to last because they are only a year and a half old I have no idea what's going on but I'm about to get rid of them because we are feeding animals that are giving nothing back at this point. If anyone has any suggestions please share!
    P.S. they do live with 5 ducks if that could have anything to do with it.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    It's normal for it to take two months or even a fair amount longer for them to recover from a molt. At this age, molting then laying fewer (but larger) eggs when they start again is normal.
     
  3. aleia

    aleia Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 21, 2013
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    I have a very similar problem.
    My chickens stopped laying in September. One is about a year and a half old, and she had a pretty rough molt. The other two, however, don't seem to be molting - they just stopped laying altogether about two weeks after the first stopped. They are about 9 months old, and were very reliable layers for the latter half of the summer. I also have six who should start laying soon (they are 6 months old), but they are not doing any of that pre-laying behavior.
    I live in California as well, in the Sierras. I have light brahmas, barred rocks, and a wyandotte - all of which are supposed to be cold-hardy and lay through the winter.
    They are all healthy and get a nicely balanced diet of lay crumbles, kitchen scraps, and a huge run that almost counts as free-range.
    I don't know what's wrong, but I am still hopeful that they'll spontaneously re-start soon!
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Chickens are living creatures, not vending machines as another member so aptly puts it, and they are naturally going to slow down or stop laying at certain times. Molting and the onset of fall/winter are at the top of the list. If they are molting, whether it's a light, almost unnoticeable molt or a heavy molt, the additional light won't matter until they have finished and recovered from the molt. I would certainly not get rid of such young birds just because of that.
     
  6. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    Most of my Welsummers stopped laying in mid August and molted well before one year of laying. This is the first time in 20 years that I can remember almost all chickens quitting at the same time. One held on until October. My 4 EEs laid steadily until October & I now only get 1 green egg every other day. I have light & 18% feed, but they still are not laying. I think they are just crappy layers, but with the weird weather we've had this year, who knows!
     

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