No eggs for 2 months

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mwells6chicks, Jan 1, 2015.

  1. mwells6chicks

    mwells6chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 8, 2013
    NJ
    HI all. I have 2 flocks of chickens. One has 10 hens: 5- 9month old, and 5- 2.5 year olds. The newest flock were hatched Aug 5 and are due to start laying soon. The March hatchlings started laying in August the older ones also started at 6 months and have been strong since. This past Oct the older ones started molting one at a time so by November they were all at some point in their molt, even the 9 month pullets started to molt. I have not had an egg since early November from any of them. I have been feeding them the same amount of food, oyster shells, scraps and water. The only thing different I'm doing is coop composting. I read an article about it and have been adding fresh bedding weekly and turning the bedding daily. Could this have an effect on their laying? The article said it wouldn't. I live in NJ where the temp just got below 32 this week. I let them forage around the yard for a couple of hours a day until I see the hawks circling. Then bring them into their runs. I wonder if they are not eating enough. I give them about 3 12oz mug fulls of feed each morning and scraps throughout the day. But when I let them out each morning they act like they are starving even though there is still a bit of food left in their tray. So I'm not sure what the problem is. Looks to me like they all have their feathers back. Their combs look a bit pale pink versus the bright red they usually are. Can anyone help me out? Anyone have an idea of what could be going on?

    Thanks
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Not that unusual. We're in the midst of the shortest days of the year. Day length is the biggest factor in laying.

    I'd do 2 things.

    I'd give them all the chicken feed they want all day and cut out the scraps for a while.
    You can freeze them so you don't waste them. When chickens wake up, they'll fill their crops, take a break and eat throughout the day whenever the crop starts to empty. If they are expecting scraps, they may forgo some of their food in anticipation.
    They won't overeat chicken food.

    I'd also switch to a grower feed (about 18% protein/1% calcium) till laying resumes. More protein will help recovery from molt and non laying birds don't need nor should have 4% calcium. Keep the oyster shell available for when laying commences.

    Winter solstice is past so each day is a couple minutes longer. Only a matter of time before those combs brighten and laying resumes.
     
  3. mwells6chicks

    mwells6chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    41
    Jun 8, 2013
    NJ
    Great thank you. I read today that they should have 5 Oz of food each so I increased their feed and will lay off the scraps for a while. Thanks for the advice.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I don't tell people how much a chicken should eat each day because it varies dramatically. A serama or silkie won't eat anywhere near what a brahma or jersey giant will.
     
  5. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ambient temperatures also affect food consumption on individual birds.
     
  6. mwells6chicks

    mwells6chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    0
    41
    Jun 8, 2013
    NJ
    Well last week I started getting 1 egg a day from my older flock (pretty sure from my buff orp). Then yesterday I got 1 egg from the 6 month olds. Today I got a green egg from my older hens so I know it is just a matter of time before I will have a boat load of eggs. Thanks all for the advice.
     

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