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My hens are on strike

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kittykorat, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. kittykorat

    kittykorat Songster

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    Aug 12, 2009
    Central MA
    I have 12 hens. They are about 2 years old. We've gotten no eggs in at least a month. They went into a hard molt in October, and nothing since.
    I wonder if I have an egg eater amongst them.. but I have not so much as heard an egg song.
    i know production decreases in the fall/winter, but last year I still got some eggs.. just not many.

    Now what do I do?
     

  2. johnsons-r-us

    johnsons-r-us Chirping

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    Jul 18, 2011
    Eudora, Kansas
    I have yet to experience a molt as my small flock is new this year. But is a month long enough after a hard molt for them to be laying again? I guess I've still not read on here how long a molt is supposed to affect the hens.
     
  3. flowergirl60

    flowergirl60 Songster

    Feb 13, 2011
    Austin Tx
    I am wondering the same thing. I have one hen coming out of a molt and another starting one.[​IMG] Haven't had any eggs from them in weeks.
     
  4. I know how you feel too! I haven't really had any eggs in a couple of months. I have 11 hens & 3 pullets.

    2 buff orpington hens were raising a total of 4 chicks, but those chicks are now 3 months old & on thier own.
    1 hen is the only one laying 1 egg every other day. The other BO hasn't really shown any signs of laying yet.

    3 pullets are almost 7 months old, and aren't really showing any signs of starting to lay yet ;(

    The others are in different stages of molting.

    Daylight hours here is under 10 hours at this point. So I am blaming daylight.
    I do not use supplemental light to give all my girls a much needed break to let their bodies build up.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
  5. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Well, usually, in their second autumn, that's when they molt big-time. Soooo, with that, combined with shorter daylight hours, you get no eggs. UNLESS........you light your coop from morning until around 8:30 or 9:00 at night.....If they're done molting, then the artificial lighting will start them to laying again......

    That's story and I'm stickin' to it! [​IMG]
     
  6. Long Last Farm

    Long Last Farm Songster

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    Apr 30, 2010
    Southern Tier, NY
    Hi! I was going to post almost the exact same question. I have about 16 pullets, which were hatched back in March 2010-so this is their second fall/ winter. They did molt one or two at a time throughout the late summer/early fall. I have been adding supplemental light, ( as I did last year with good results). I am getting about 2 EGGS PER DAY! They have good nutrition, I let them free range, no injuries or changes in their coop, no birds added or removed, no trauma that I can tell--but very few eggs! Any ideas why? I will be selling them off in the spring if they don't help pay the feed bill! [​IMG]
     
  7. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Quote:Sometimes they stop laying in the coop because they don't want to come in from free ranging. Could they have a secret nesting spot that you don't know about?

    I would lock them in the coop and run for about 5 days and see what happens.....

    Sharon
     

  8. Kajunbanty

    Kajunbanty Songster

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    Sep 14, 2008
    Mine are on strike also. Now I know why my grandmother got new pullets every spring. She would use different color leg bands on her hens so she would know what ones was the oldest. At 2 years she usually sold them or butchered them once the new pullets started laying. My problem is I get attached and name them so can't sell them and sure can't eat them [​IMG]
     
  9. Long Last Farm

    Long Last Farm Songster

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    Apr 30, 2010
    Southern Tier, NY
    Chicmom--They may have a hiding place that I have not found yet. The one or two eggs I do get per day are usually NOT in the coop--I made them a "Hidey-hole" nest in our barn since they like to go in there alot. I know I should keep them in their pen/enclosure so they have no choice but to lay them in the nest boxes, but they look at me with their big chicken eyes, and complain so loudly when I do keep them enclosed. that most of the time I let them loose. Thanks for the good advice, though! [​IMG]
     
  10. I am surprised no one has mentioned worms.....

    Mine almost stopped during molting and change of weather too. Never really picked back up it seemed. I wormed them and almost immediately I started getting 5-7 eggs a day from 9 hens that of laying age.

    I use either Valbazen mixed 1 part to 8 parts water, or safeguard liquid (for goats) mixed 1 to 6 (I use 12 cc syringe and draw up 2 of safeguard and 10 of water and shake well. Either one you use you need to give 1 cc mix to full size and 1/2 cc to banty. Discard eggs for 10 days, worm again and discard eggs for 14 days. You should be all set for about 8 months. It is also time for me to put my light back on the timer and I set it to come on at 0600 and off at 0830. I use the 100 watt CFL bulb that draws 23 watts.
     

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