My hens are on strike!!??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SmallFlocker207, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. SmallFlocker207

    SmallFlocker207 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 9, 2013
    My hens started laying in November when they were five months old( 21 weeks). I have 25 hens. I got 23 a day when they started laying with was pretty good. Now, i only get 13 a day on average!?!? whats happening!?!?!??!
     
  2. BuffOrpington88

    BuffOrpington88 Non-Stop

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    In the winter, they will lay less since it gets darker earlier. To have them lay more eggs, you can put a light in the coop for no more than 16 hours a day. This will make them think that it's springtime so they should lay more eggs.
     
  3. SJ

    SJ Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Pullets should lay very well. 23 eggs a day out of 25 pullets is an excellent rate of lay especially if they have been doing it since November. It takes alot of energy to make an egg and if they've been pumping eggs out like you say they have been, laying an egg everyday for almost 5 months, your bird have earned a break. That rate of lay is amazing. Good for you. You have some great layers. It also means you've been doing your job supplying those girls with what they need. The fact that your birds are laying 1 egg everyother day now is not that they are on strike. That is still that is a decent rate of lay. Just think in averages here. 30 days in a month for five months is a one hundred and fifty eggs. Some breeds don't even lay that in a year. If you have some production layer breed like a production red, 150 eggs by now is a production projection of almost 300 eggs a year. WOW!!!
    There are a few scenarios that could be going on and the most likely is they are nearing the end of their first laying cycle. Their production slows down and then stops. They will molt, grow new feathers then start to lay again in a few weeks I think like 6 to 8 weeks. Then it is back to pumping those eggs out.
    Another is that a few have gone broody which you would notice by them pecking your hands while you try to collect eggs and them refusing to get off the nest.
    Another is they got sick. This will cause them to stop laying like right now. Something like a cold will stop a birds egg production until she gets better.
    Some things to look for are to check out the comb and wattles of your bird. A hen in lay will have soft wattles and comb that are blushing red. Where as a hen not in lay will have a comb and wattles that are dry(think like dandruff on a scalp but instead a dry flakey comb) and paler pinkish wattles that have shrunk. Check the litter if there are a lot feathers starting to appear they are going into molt.
     
  4. SmallFlocker207

    SmallFlocker207 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 9, 2013
    all of my hens are not broody, has nice combs and waddles, and are molting.
     

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