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No eggs.... at all

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Back40, Oct 12, 2016.

  1. Back40

    Back40 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 12 Australorp ladies, 1 1/2 years old, and up until to the last few weeks at molt they were great layers... Over the last 6 weeks, they've gone from 10 eggs per day, to 7, to 6, and only two for the last two weeks. Tonight, no eggs at all. They've finished their molt, food is good with scraps from the house, but they've just completely quit now. I keep them wormed, and comfortable in their coop at night. Weather has been warm except for recent high winds which may have disturbed them, but still, the gradual decrease over several weeks is puzzling. Any suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2016
  2. Ol Grey Mare

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

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    This is actually a very normal situation to encounter with birds of this age experiencing molt -- if you are not using supplemental light (not heat, but daylight type) to make up for the shorter hours of daylight available naturally at this point they may not return to laying until spring.
     
  3. Back40

    Back40 Out Of The Brooder

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    That's something I haven't done, but a great suggestion. I'll start that this weekend. Thanks much, and I'll place another post to update with results.
     
  4. Cacique500

    Cacique500 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ole Grey Mare is spot on. Rather than using a light for winter, I like to give the girls the winter off from laying, to rest & recuperate. It will also keep them laying longer (over the long haul), rather than blowing through all their eggs in a few years. Others will keep them laying and replace the entire flock in 2 to 3 years. Depends on your goals and flock management style. Mine are pets first, egg layers second...YMMV.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Ol Grey Mare

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

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    One way to avoid the issue of eggless winters without using unnatural influences like manipulating the light is to run a flock with both older, established layers and newly laying birds -- if you start the first group (group a) and they start laying around 6 months they should continue to lay well until they molt around 18 months.....when the first group is a year old you start your next group of birds (group b). Group b will reach production around 6 months of age, at which point group a is 18 months old and is molting. Group a can then follow the natural cycle of less/none production through that winter while group b lays through their first laying cycle. Group a returns to production in the spring (the second laying cycle is generally as productive numerically as the first and the egg size is fabulous - so I encourage this approach over the total selling off at 18 months that some folks use, replacing the entire flock at molt). The third year you start group c -- in the fall group A is sold off, group B molts and takes the winter off and group C takes up the job of production.....lather, rinse, repeat. For a small flock it helps to take this approach but replace/sell off half the flock to avoid ending up with a flock larger than you are wanting to have.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Back40

    Back40 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks to you, Ol Grey Mare and Cacique500 for your suggestions. Since my layers tend to be a bit friendly and I'd like to keep them going for a while longer, I'll take the suggestion of overlapping flocks to keep the eggs going, and give the girls here a rest for the winter. Australorps are great layers, eggs are large, and rich. I've enjoyed owning these, but when the last flock went into molt and had reduced production, I gave them to a family who needed them and who were willing to see them through the winter. But, since I'm becoming a bit of an old grey mule, I'm around more now to tend to them. Thanks for sharing your expertise.
     

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