No eggs for ages...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by miniwrangler, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. miniwrangler

    miniwrangler In the Brooder

    Dec 11, 2013
    So we have 8 hens and 2 roosters. We had 5 of the hens for well over a year, but they really dropped off laying around October time and we thought it may be just down to winter. However, we bought 5 more just after Xmas (only to discover 2 were roosters) and we now get one egg every 3 days ish.
    We free range them round our 1/2 acre plot every couple of days when we are here as we know we have a local fox so we need to watch them,and they have a decent sized enclosure with a straw pile for scratching, perches and different heights to explore.
    Why are we not getting eggs please??????? They are very close to being given away to anyone who wants them and us replenishing our stock as we are having to buy eggs which is barking mad!
    Thank you in advance, Sarah
  2. Ol Grey Mare

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

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    How old were the birds you purchased at Christmas? Only asking as being surprised by gender is more an issue with chicks than mature birds, so trying to get a feel for how old the birds in your flock are. Were you told the birds were actively laying at purchase? Given the issue of mistake gender ID I would question the knowledge/honesty of the seller with regards to age of the birds and actual productive state all together. Were the birds you started with originally chicks when you got them- meaning they are now over a year old? On the new birds - are the males of an age where they are mating your hens and, if so, are they overmating them/causing stress? Age of the birds involved will play into how quickly/slowly one might expect them to get back into production.
    Stress can cause interruption to production - stressors in your situation would be the moving of the new birds, the integration of the two groups into one flock, the introduction of male amorous activities, etc. Couple a stress related interruption with the already likely to cause slower production short daylight hours of winter (depending on your location) and you have the potential for a reasonably sharp decrease. As the daylight hours increase and the birds all adjust to the many changes you will likely see an increase in production, though you may find that 2 roos in a relatively small space with just 8 girls may be a bit out of balance and require some rethinking.
  3. miniwrangler

    miniwrangler In the Brooder

    Dec 11, 2013
    Our older hens are coming up to two years old, but my husband bought the new ones at auction, with the three hens and two roosters in separate lots and no details of ages. He claims our three year old son distracted him (we had a childcare crisis that day hence taking him!) so he didn't look enough, but they have tiny nubs where their spurs are coming though so they are young. They ladies also look like they have young legs (I know sounds odd!). One of the boys is randy so does chase the ladies although tends to be the new ones and the other is just noisy, he's not been seen to have a go.
    We have no plans to keep two - I work at a farm one day a week, so may 'gift' a rooster!
    I strongly suspect it's the light, but we haven't had that issue before (we kept hens a few years back)
  4. miniwrangler

    miniwrangler In the Brooder

    Dec 11, 2013
    Should add we are in the middle of the UK
  5. maddog3355

    maddog3355 In the Brooder

    Apr 14, 2014
    I always say if you want to pay $5 for a dozen eggs get your own chickens. They will pick back up in a few weeks maybe a month. Do like the rest of us buy more feed and while your in town pick up a dozen eggs!!
  6. kaylanoto

    kaylanoto In the Brooder

    Aug 9, 2014
    I would also look into the feed you're giving them!! stress is a big reason for decrease production but because they haven't really laid much at all it sounds like, possibly look into a layer feed.. as long as they are at least 18 weeks of age, as it can be bad for their organs to eat later feed (too much calcium) at a young age
  7. pdirt

    pdirt Songster

    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    Old grey mare asked great questions. It's probably a combo of the combining of three flocks, the new ones may not be quite laying yet and the lower light of winter. Some breeds and even some chickens within a breed can be very good layers in the dark of winter. But many are not and either will slow down or stop laying altogether during the shorter daylight hours of winter. Unless you have a large mixed age flock, it's inevitable for times like this of low egg production.

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