New Member

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Chachi, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. Chachi

    Chachi Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 13, 2013
    San Antonio, Tx
    My girls are just the best thing I could have done. Currently I have 5 chickens. My biggest concern is they have slowed down in the egg laying. Maurine a Welsummer is my heaviest egg laying and size. She lays a double yolked egg every other week. My biggest concern is that they have bascally stopped laying. I have read that chickens slow down or stop laying during the winter. Any helpful advice on how to start them laying again. My girls are free range and I only feed organic feed. They are the center of my life. Hope to get some great advise from this group.
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Light is the number one factor for healthy birds to continue laying. Adding a light on a timer bright enough to read a newspaper by at roost height will do the trick. When I do so, I have it come on at 4 AM or on at dusk and stay on for 4 hours. It's better to gradually increase the time.
    Healthy chickens also quit laying when they molt. During the molt their reproductive tract gets a much needed rest and overhaul. That's normally the second autumn and every year thereafter. It often seems like they're laying every day and just stop. Usually you'll see feathers everywhere and scruffy chickens but they can do a less noticeable soft molt. At any rate they don't start laying again until the new winter coat is completely grown.
    That can take anywhere from a month or the break could be all winter. If they're molting, adding light doesn't help.
    Increasing the protein in the diet helps them grow new feathers. That's usually done by switching from layer feed to grower.
    The other option is to just let them take a break. When hatched, a chick already has all the eggs it will ever lay in its life.
    The choice is whether you want all the eggs the first few years or let them take a break and lay for 10 years or more.
    Because chickens die from so many things (predators, disease, etc.) a lot of people choose the former and start over again when laying slows considerably.
    I choose the latter because their bodies really do need a break from constant laying.

    Another thing I highly recommend when the birds stop laying is to take them off of layer feed right away. The excess calcium intended for birds actively laying can do damage to those that don't need it. Renal disease can create birds that don't lay well or at all. If some of the birds are still laying, providing calcium in the form of oyster shell in a separate container does the trick. Actually that should be provided whether all are laying or just a few.

    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] Glad you joined us!
  4. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 2, 2012
    :welcome Glad to have you join us!
  5. tmac1208

    tmac1208 Out Of The Brooder

    Welcome!! I'm sure everyone on here will help you out!
  6. All Henned Up

    All Henned Up Muffs or Tufts

    I don't like the light to be on in the evening because when it turns off they are milling about then all of a sudden it's dark and they have trouble roosting. when using a light I like it to come on in the am and that way they can find there roosting spot in the evening with the setting sun.
    Welcome and enjoy BYC!
    Steve :frow
  7. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan [​IMG]

    Adding light to increase their day length would help stimulate laying. Best to add light in the morning, and allow them to have a natural twilight to allow them to find their perches and put themselves to bed instead of having sudden darkness. Having a light come on around 4 am will usually do the trick.
  8. bigdaddyjts1

    bigdaddyjts1 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 5, 2013
    Glad you are here! I am new as well and this site is a wealth of information and caring knowledgable folks!
  9. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome to BYC!

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