My hens are useless...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Vamvakas, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. Vamvakas

    Vamvakas Songster

    Sep 30, 2011
    North Branford, CT
    I have about 23 adult hens. About 4-5 months ago I used to find eggs everywhere in the coops, on the floor, in the nest, and somtimes in the runner, it was great. In the past 3 months if I am lucky I will find like 3 eggs a day sometimes no eggs at all.. Most of the chickens are are younger then 2 years old. They did have lice like 2 months ago but I used a powder and got rid of them and I check them alot and they don't have lice and that's been over 2 months. I feed them 18% layer pellets all the time and it's the same result..

    I buy so many eggs at the supermarket now but I second guess why I have hens when 23 hens when they only lay 1-3 eggs. I spend my cash on there food when they don't return the favor. I do have a rooster in the cage that is mean to the hens and bites them somtimes maybe he is the problem? I hate him but that my dads rooster lol..
  2. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

    Jul 29, 2012
    Oregon City, OR
    My Coop
    I think it is a mix of things. Stress from the abusive roo, molting, daylight getting shorter.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    If they were born in spring '11, they're doing what they're supposed to. Molting, taking a break from laying for the winter. It's totally normal. Folks usually decide to carry over birds that aren't producing over the winter or sell or butcher them. You could try supplement lighting to increase production, but they still need to molt and take time off from laying for that.
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Having the entire flock be the same age is tough on egg collecting. They all tend to moult at the same 18 month mark, shutting down your flock. You might consider always adding some young birds each year as a way to overcome this situation. Rotation is the word. But, once your birds do moult and resume laying, you may not find they not lay very heavily until the longer light days of late winter or early spring.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  5. SymanSaysFarms

    SymanSaysFarms Chirping

    Oct 16, 2012
    Connecticut, USA
    Definitely sounds like you're dealing with a molt and/or reaction to shorter daylight. My girls are going through the same. 16 chickens and we've had zero eggs for about 3 weeks. It finally looks like one or two girls have started laying again. I've found 1 egg per day the last 3 days. BUT, they're also almost 3 years old, so age is an issue too. Give them time and, if you choose, add a supplemental light in their coop for a couple hours... remember hens need 14+ hours of light/day to lay. And good luck!!!
  6. MrsChickenPam

    MrsChickenPam In the Brooder

    Aug 18, 2011
    Same problem here - 6 hens, all 18mo old. One egg a day (from only one hen, they all lay different colors) maximum for over two months now. I'm thinking in the spring, I will rotate out 3 for 3 new ones and continue like that year after year.
  7. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Songster

    Mar 1, 2011
    Upstate NY
    All my 18 month olds are molting too! I was getting 13 eggs a day, now I'm getting 5. At least my 6 month olds are holding me over til... Jeez, I hope its not April when they start again!

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