My Leghorns are poor layers. Why??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Petra Pancake, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. Petra Pancake

    Petra Pancake Chillin' With My Peeps

    About 3 months ago I got two Leghorn hybrids. They were supposed to be 7 months old and 1 year old. They live together with my 2 Baladi hens and eat the same layer food. I do not use artificial light in the coop, but the Baladi hens have already gotten over their winter break and are now laying about 3 light brown eggs a week per head, which is normal for them. Not so the Leghorns - I get about 2 biggish white eggs per week from them, not sure if it's one hen laying 2 eggs or each of them just 1 egg. Why?
    Could it be that they have a longer winter break?
    Or could it be that they are simply a lot older than the seller claimed and "spent"?
    Any other idea? They don't look ill.
  2. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer Premium Member

    May 11, 2010
    They might be a bit older than revealed. Also, you can try deworming your flock to increase production. Also, supplying a better quality layer feed may help. You can also vary the diet by adding greens such as kale, spinach, sprouted seed and so forth. Make sure to do these changes slowly. Another thing to consider is if your hens are hiding the eggs, if you have an egg thief such as rats, snakes or crows. Just a few things to think of. Good luck!
  3. canalcolt

    canalcolt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 16, 2016
    How long have u had them?
    Do you free range? My leghorn goes wherever and before the other chickens go in the coop she flies up into our apple tree for the night.
    Also all my hens are not laying everyday either right now. Our weather has turned back to cold.
    Plip likes this.
  4. Joeschooks

    Joeschooks Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 7, 2018
    Hampshire, UK
    My Coop
    That’s strange for a leghorn. Mine lays pretty much every day even throughout winter. Some unscrupulous breeders apparently wait til their older girls moult and then sell them off as younger birds. Not saying this is the case here but could it be a possibility?
    Petra Pancake and Plip like this.
  5. Petra Pancake

    Petra Pancake Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for your replies. I've thought of egg thieves, especially rats, but they would take the brown Baladi eggs as well, wouldn't they? (Unless they're picky eaters, ha, ha). Crows and the like can't get into my closed run.
    Could it be that the Leghorns eat their own eggs but not those of the other hens?
    Worms - could it be that the Leghorns are affected but the Baladi (= Middle Eastern barnyard mix) hens not? Though de-worming is probably always a good idea.
    Food - would Leghorns need more protein or something that mixed breeds? They all get the same shop bought layer feed and don't free range.

    The seller was a teenage kid who seemed honest enough, but who knows? Maybe he himself didn't really know how old they are.
  6. peeper89

    peeper89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2017
    got pictures?
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    They there a tag showing the protein(and other) percentages in the feed?
  8. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Leghorn hybrids.....did they mention what the other part of the genetic equation is? With hybrids you often get unexpected results and it is possible the genetics mixed in here are have g a negative impact on production.
  9. Petra Pancake

    Petra Pancake Chillin' With My Peeps

    Can't take photos now, it's already night here and there's no light source in our back garden, run and coop, all pitch dark. Will try tomorrow during the day.

    Regarding Leghorn hybrids, someone who understands from chickens here in Israel told me that most "Leghorns" here are actually hybrids which are used in commercial egg production. Private people here and there get their hands on surplus chicks or hens and then keep, sell and sometimes breed them as "Leghorns".
    One of mine is brutally debeaked, sort of also might suggest a commercial origin.
    Bonniebooboo likes this.
  10. Petra Pancake

    Petra Pancake Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh, and regarding the feed -

    Yes, it says protein 13 %, fat 5%, moisture 13%, dust (?) 13.2 %, calcium 4.15%, phosphate 0.5%, traces of mangane and salt. Based on wheat, dura (?), corn.
    Calls itself "Mixture for layers".

    I feed them small amounts of kitchen scraps and grass clippings as well.

    My Baladi hens get along with this food and lay as expected 3 eggs per hen per week, 4 in a good week.

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