My hens should be laying...but they're not!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Kristen61607, May 7, 2016.

  1. Kristen61607

    Kristen61607 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have truly researched this topic to death and I feel like I've tried everything, but my 7 hens just aren't laying anymore and I CANNOT for the life of me figure out why. I know this question probably gets asked over and over but I'm hoping someone can help me.

    I have 7 hens and 1 rooster. My oldest hen is 3 and she's the ONLY one who consistently lays every day or every other day (and she's the only one I'd give a pass to for NOT laying!)

    The rest are 1.5 years old that I raised from chicks, so I know no one lied to me about their age.

    They get ACV in their water. They have been recently wormed. They have a huge grassy pen and a clean, dry coop with diatomaceous earth. They are being fed egg layer pellets only and they eat it well. I stopped giving them many treats because I thought they might be fat....but that's not it. They are super healthy with bright red combs. The 3 year old and 2 others DID go through a molt (I think because I did a light this winter then turned it off late February) but the 3 year old is back to laying and the 4 others didn't molt from what I can tell. No one is broody. I give them seabuck 7 and an egg laying supplement. They have oyster shell and grit free choice. My rooster is a huge *** to ME but from what I can tell he's very nice to the girls. I've never even seen him mount a hen (sometimes my few eggs are fertilized but sometimes they're not) and they aren't missing any feathers or anything.

    I DID move them to a new coop across my yard, but it was a month ago now and they weren't laying before that anyways.

    What could I POSSIBLY be missing here? I get 1 or 2 eggs every other day or so. I have asked all my local chicken experts and no one knows why they aren't laying.

    Thanks so much for reading!!!!!
     
  2. Allkindsofkinds

    Allkindsofkinds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What breed(s) are they?
     
  3. dmanhefner

    dmanhefner Out Of The Brooder

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    Remove all the suplaments except the oyster shell.

    What is the protein content on the laying feed? Get a 16% minimum, an 18% all flock or 20% would be better with the oyster shell. Make sure they have clean water. Stop with the acv. If they are free ranged on dirt you dont need grit. Basically, give them good high quality feed only, no treats, clean water, and low stress. When you get them back to laying you may add items back as needed.

    Is there anywhere at all they could hide eggs? Mine have done that before when i thought they were not laying. How much day light do you have? They need 12 to 14 to lay depending on breed.
     
  4. Kristen61607

    Kristen61607 Out Of The Brooder

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    The 3 year old is a gold laced wyandotte. I have 1 black copper maran and the rest (including the roo) are purebred barnevelders.
     
  5. Kristen61607

    Kristen61607 Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok thanks for the tips. I had them on 16% then switched to 18% when i noticed those 3 were molting. So would the 20% be considered a meat bird feed? Thats ok for (hypothetical, lol) layers? Nope, there is absolutely no where they could hide eggs. My 3 year old wont lay in the nest box but i find her egg on the coop floor. And I can see every part of the pen. Im going to try your simplicity approach. Cant hurt!!!
     
  6. Kristen61607

    Kristen61607 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh and in terms of light... Its may in upstate ny... Should be enough daylight, right?! All my other friends hens are laying like crazy.
     
  7. dmanhefner

    dmanhefner Out Of The Brooder

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    Probably is enough light, im a world away from you though.

    Some would call 20% a meat bird food, and some meat bird is 20%. Personally, i use purina flock raiser which is a 20% protein all flock feed, ok for hens, roosters, ducks, etc. It doesnt have the added calcium suplaments that layer rations do. You do not have to use that specific feed, you may have a local brand by another name. Since you are using oyster shell you dont really need a specific layer ration anyway. They will use the oyster shell as needed, when fed in this manner. Once you make a switch on feed leave it alone for a while and let them adjust. Is anything harassing them through their pen that could be atressing them?
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Agrees with going back to a basics...a higher protein feed, water, oyster shells in a separate container, and nothing else.

    What does this mean ..." a clean, dry coop with diatomaceous earth...."
    How big is the coop(feet by feet)?
    How and how much DE are you applying?
     
  9. nposluszny

    nposluszny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm also in Upstate NY, people at work say their hens are laying pretty well (mine are too young to lay but I keep getting eggs from others that have smallish flocks) so I don't think it's the amount of daylight.
     
  10. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You say you "feed" them. What exactly does this mean? Do you have free choice food and water accessible for them 24/7? Or do you feed and water them at a certain time, then they go for periods without nothing? I did the latter for a couple months and got 3 eggs a day. Now that I switched to the free choice food and water, they lay 9 a day. Just a thought.
     

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