Newbie needs some help!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Kolb Krazies, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. Kolb Krazies

    Kolb Krazies New Egg

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    Oct 23, 2012
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    I am new to the backyard chicken game. We inherited a coop from a neighbor who moved away and gave it to us as a thank you. He had 4 RI Reds and had wonderful egg production from them. We were given 1 RI Red, 2 Buffs, & 1 Leghorn. We were getting 2-3 eggs a day for a month or so and then it stopped. This was in late August. With it now being late October, I am very concerned that something is wrong that I am not understanding. I have read the articles and posts on here about poor egg production and have tried everything but adding a light. I am at a loss, I love having the chickens, and we eat 3-4 eggs a day in my house, but right now they aren't helping with this and it is annoying to buy eggs and feed chickens...HELP!
     
  2. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    It's molting season, and they tend to stop laying during a molt. Have you noticed more feathers around the coop than usual? Also, how old are your chickens?
     
  3. Kolb Krazies

    Kolb Krazies New Egg

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    Oct 23, 2012
    VA
    About 6 weeks ago I started seeing a ton of feathers lying around the coop. That lasted for about 2 weeks and stopped. I increased the protein for the feed as I read that is good during the molt. However, now, 4 weeks later, there are still no eggs.

    As for age, the RI Red is about 8 months and the others are all between 16 and 18 months.
     
  4. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    Increasing protein is a good idea, but it still takes awhile. 4 weeks is nothing. I've got one that started in August and still isn't through. I have another that's going on 7 weeks since starting her molt and though he feathers are really come back in nicely now, she still hasn't started laying either. I'm sure your lapse is molting-related, so be patient. Some can get through it quickly (only a few weeks) and others, literally, take months, even with more protein. Be patient and they'll be back in action once all of those feathers are fully replaced and their systems get back in order.
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Once they replace the feathers, they have to get their body weight back up before they can lay again. Molting can take a lot out of a bird. Increasing their protein will help, but it still takes time. Average for my flock is about 3 months - some get back to laying a bit sooner, some a bit later.
     
  6. Kolb Krazies

    Kolb Krazies New Egg

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    Oct 23, 2012
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    Thank you RedDrgn and Happy Chooks. Would the molt also be the reason that they stopped laying about 2-3 weeks (depending on the bird) before we started noticing that there was an increase in the feathers falling out?
     
  7. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    If they were just starting to molt and doing so lightly, maybe. More likely that it was related to the descrease in daylight hours, which will also slow or put the brakes on laying unless you add supplemental lighting.
     
  8. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes. Feathers are mostly protein, as are eggs. They need all their energy stores to regrow feathers and stay alive.
     
  9. Kolb Krazies

    Kolb Krazies New Egg

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    Oct 23, 2012
    VA
    Thank you very much, I am looking to add to my coop and a light source was one of my hopes. Just didn't know how many things to try with nothing seeming to work.
     

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