need some management - guidance, please.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cptbahama, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. keep, they'll pick back up laying in spring

    6 vote(s)
    85.7%
  2. sell or give away, make room for chicks in brooder

    1 vote(s)
    14.3%
  3. eat them

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. cptbahama

    cptbahama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have 6 hens. They will be 2 years old in February.
    2 Ameraucana's
    1 RIR
    1 Barred Rock
    1 Welsummer
    1 Gold Laced Wyandotte
    We are down to getting zero eggs most days, maybe one or, a really good day, two eggs. We haven't seen any eggs from the two Ameraucana's in two months. I'm assuming the one egg I get about every other day most likely comes from the Wyandotte, b/c they are supposed to be better winter layers, correct?

    I don't want to be without eggs so we were proactive and now have 6 more 4-week old chicks in the brooder. They are already outgrowing the brooder so I'm considering moving them and a heat lamp to the coop. Which would mean the chickens have to go.

    I'm willing to cull and eat them but not sure if the meat quality will be worth the effort. I thought about selling them in pairs on craig's list, advertised like this:
    "almost 2 year old hens barely laying or not laying at all, eat or keep as pets as they are people friendly. they may pick up laying again in spring."

    What should I do? I hate the thought of keeping them and feeding them expensive feed when I'm not getting eggs.
     
  2. delisha

    delisha Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    First you need to find out why they are not laying or you will be turning over hens every year. What are you feeding?
    How much do they free range? How much are they eating? Have you checked for lice, mites, or fleas? Have you checked the stool for worms? Have you changed feeds? Buildings? Bedding?
     
  3. cptbahama

    cptbahama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    augusta, georgia
    They are fed Nutrena layer crumbles. They free range every other day. Very healthy, no signs of lice mites scale or worms in stool. They get a regular dose of DE in their dust bathing area.
    The coop is clean, bedding fresh pine shavings.
     
  4. canesisters

    canesisters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Virginia
    Wow, you have 3 of the breeds I'm hoping to get. And since mine are pets who happen to provide a bonus of laying eggs, I wouldn't mind feeding them till spring to see if they'd start to lay...

    [​IMG] DRAT! Too bad you're in GA (I'm in VA) or I'd come pick them up.


    (edited to add:)
    Unless you're willing to meet me halfway - somewhere in middle NC.... [​IMG]


    But otherwise I'd say that if you have the ability to make room for them - and to increase the hours of daylight - keep them and see if they'll start laying again.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  5. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

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    I wouldn't get rid of them yet, they really aren't that old. At less then two years they should be laying more then that, are they getting at least 14-16 hours of daylight each day?
     
  6. NestingHillsSC

    NestingHillsSC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tennessee
    Make sure that none are broody. They won't lay eggs when they are. The only time mine don't lay is when they are. This is another whole subject, but i do notice the difference when I feed them Purina Layena. They lay more eggs. I don't know how much treats you feed them. Lay off those also. There main diet really should be there laying feed. Too much other food or treats will over ride the benefits of the laying feed.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I don't understand why the folks responding think there's something wrong with these hens not laying. They're 18 months old-ish and it's just time for their bodies to take a break. This is when each person needs to decide for themselves if they're going to a) supplement light and try to continue production b) feed non productive birds through the winter and know they'll be productive again in the spring or c) cull the birds and start over.

    Sounds like you intend to cull them. I hear the hens make the best broth/soup in the world. When I culled my flock I intended to butcher but just didn't have time, so I put them on craigslist and got rid of them easily. I would word it something like " Hens have been good layers, currently taking a break after molting and will resume laying in the spring".

    To keep a cycle of layers, if you choose to cull and not carry over the winter, you pretty much need to buy chicks each spring. The new birds will start laying when the older birds taper off. You'll usually have a huge abundance of eggs in August/Sept when both groups are laying (depending on age), then they'll balance each other out.
     
  8. canesisters

    canesisters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Virginia
    I don't think that there's anything wrong with them, that's why I offered to take (buy) a few of them. [​IMG] (Ameraucana's, Welsummer, Gold Laced Wyandotte)


    (is the quote in your signature from the Hitchhikers guide to the universe?)
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Nope, it's Dale from The Walking Dead!
     
  10. DanEP

    DanEP Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would try and make sure their getting at least 12 hours of lite a day by using a lite on a timer and increase the light in the am. Mine goes on at 4:30 every morning and no light in the evening. Also if your girls are molting they may stop laying while trying to grow new feathers. Try feeding them higher protein food while they recover as it takes a lot of protein to grow feathers and doesn't leave much for laying. I feed all mine 18% all flock all the time with oyster shell on the side and have found it helps them grow feathers faster while molting and also seems to increase laying.
     

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