No eggs for 2 months?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by joemallo, Dec 27, 2015.

  1. joemallo

    joemallo New Egg

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    I have 7 hens and a rooster. Before my problem began I was getting 4-5 eggs per day. Over the last two months I've been getting 0 eggs. I read most other egg laying posts and I've been trying some things with no luck. I intend to keep trying things based on your suggestions and have even considered getting a new flock.

    My flock is unique. I have 3 Americana hens and a rooster, 2 yrs old. We enjoy our Americanas. I was forced to consolidate 4 wild hens with my own 7 months ago, ages 2-5 yrs. The wild birds came with the house.

    I feed the birds a pellet diet with fresh water everyday. I occasionally supplement their diet w fruits and veggies. I attached a picture of their run. What do you suggest?[​IMG]?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, I would expect most hens from 2-5 years of age to not be laying in the last 2 months.
    Declining day length causes production of melatonin which limits ovulation. Increasing day length limits melatonin production which stimulates ovulation.
    Days have been getting longer for the last 5 days. It is only a matter of time or you can add a couple hours of light to your coop.

    Is the pellet diet layer pellets or all flock pellets?
    If layer, I'd stop that now until you start getting eggs.
    Your rooster should never be eating layer feed, nor should birds not building egg shells.
     
  3. joemallo

    joemallo New Egg

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    I am in California. I'll try adding some light and I need to get All Flock Pellets. I recently explained my problem to the local pet store and they gave me Layer Pellets. I'll let you know how it goes. Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2015
  4. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I agree with @ChickenCanoe - we all expect a slowdown of laying in the winter months, and for that reason a lot of us get chicks in the spring. The reason for that is that our older layers are more sensitive to the shorter days than pullets are, so by having pullets in with our older girls we at least get some eggs during the winter. Right now only 2 of my almost 2 year old birds are laying, but almost all of the pullets have done very well. By the way, I don't use lights in winter. My feeling is that the Good Lord intended them to have a rest period from the physical demands of egg laying, and I'm letting them have it. But many others do use them with great success and from what I understand with no ill effects on the chickens.

    Don't expect an egg-laying miracle with the lights....in order to use them most successfully you need to start earlier in the year, when the days first start getting shorter. To suddenly add lights to give them the 14 hours of light they need daily probably won't do much now but confuse them. If I were you, I'd relax, make sure they are fed, watered, and housed well, and let them finish out this winter as they are. Then if you decide to use lights next winter, start when the days start getting shorter so they don't see much difference in their environment. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2015
  5. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    I can never understand people saying they don't use lights so their hens can have a rest. My hens always molt normally for a month or two even though I light every year from August 15th to May 15th for the chickens that are laying. They get their "rest" during their molt, that's what it is molt is for. When they are darn good & ready, they start to lay again. No offense meant to those that don't use lights. JMHO
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Cindy, your longest day is just over 15 hours according to a navy chart I found. Depending on when in August you start the lights they may well have already lost anywhere from 45 minutes to almost two hours of daylight. I remember from another post you said you provide 14 hours of light so that is a loss of one hour of daylight no matter when you start in August. If you were closer to the equator 14 hours might be enough.

    The length of daylight isn’t the key, it’s whether the days are getting longer or shorter. That one hour loss of daylight is probably enough to start them molting. If you tried adding 15 hours of light in June at the summer solstice instead of 14 in August you might see different results if you want to. Maybe not.

    Maybe this will help you understand why different people see different results. There are several things I’ve read on here that totally mystify me as to how people get the results they do. It’s just not in my realm of experience. Sometimes I can finally understand how something might happen but sometimes I just have to accept it. One example is when people post about baby chicks falling out of a nest with a broody. Then when I had a broody hatch in a very small nest I understood one possible explanation. The early baby chicks like to climb on Mama’s back while she is hatching the late chicks. If Mama is sitting too close to the edge of the nest, when the chick falls off it misses the nest. If I hadn’t experienced that I’d probably still be mystified.

    http://aa.usno.navy.mil/cgi-bin/aa_durtablew.pl?form=1&year=2015&task=-1&state=PA&place=Fleetwood

    I also want them to molt each fall to recharge their system so I don’t try to extend the days and keep them laying. But since all mine are or have molted I’ll add lights today to try to get them started. I’ll want hatching eggs in another month or so thus the need for them to crank back up. I’ll look at that navy chart and add about ten minutes in the morning every couple of days until I’ve extended the day by about 30 minutes, then using that chart see how long the day is considering subset. I’ll stop the supplemental lights when the natural day length matches my longest artificial day length.

    Joemallo, some hens will start laying as soon as the molt is over but a lot wait until the days get longer in the spring to start. They can be pretty inconsistent about that, depending in the individual. If you add lights it can take a month or so for the hen to go through the internal changes to her egg making factory to start laying so be patient. If she has already started those internal changes you might see results a lot sooner.
     
  7. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Adding to what Ridgerunner said - some broodies lose a lot of weight. They have to get their weight back up before they can start laying again. Once they start looking well fed, and their comb brightens back up and red, then they are close to starting back up.
     

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