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No eggs in two months this is a problem!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by hcammack, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. hcammack

    hcammack Overrun With Chickens

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    Hey everyone I haven't seen an egg in two months!!! I have a few birds that are young to come into lay and a few that should be coming into lay right now! I gave them a break during there month long molt and then I added 3 hours of light in the afternoon and night for them two weeks ago. I have noticed the combs on the Marans and Wellsummer are getting redder. They are all eating layer feed. I have at least 9 pullets and hens that should be laying now but none are. They live in a nice movable coop wich is not heated but they are protected from drafts. They get moved to fresh pasture once a week. I understand my two quarentined ameraucana pullets not laying as they are in a chicken tractor with no supplementary light or heat.

    Let me know if you have any suggestions for how to make them lay. I know many people think its an old wives tale but I may try chilli pepper it worked in the past and bumped my egg production up maybe it will help these girls get going.

    Henry
     
  2. Hecate

    Hecate Out Of The Brooder

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    I am in a similar situation. I have several hens (all heritage breeds) that are 15 months old and layed well all spring and summer, but have now stopped altogether for the last 2 months. Only two out of 8 have nice red combs and wattles. I am finally considering sending the others to the pot, it's just too costly to feed them for no output. Opinions?
     
  3. lindabean

    lindabean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I, too, am in the same boat! [​IMG] At Easter this year I bought 5 hens, 3 of which were already laying & 2 were expected to start in the next month. Then I bought 8 chicks from the feed store a week later. Now all are well over 6 months old. Of the 3 that were already laying, 1 hasn't laid since August, 1 hasn't laid since Sept. (but she is molting so she gets a break) and the other gives an egg every other day, off & on when she feels like it. Of the other 2 Big Girls that were supposed to lay within a month, I'm still waiting. The babies all look grown now, look like they should be laying, but NOTHING!!![​IMG] A friend at work says I should get a rooster, but I really don't want one. Because they have been molting at different times, I've been changing their feed up from 16% to 20% laying pellets with some scratch and scraps thrown in. I let them free range from 2 to 12 hours a day. (They look so pitiful when I check the nests and there are no eggs, I just can't bring myself to leave them in the pen). They have always laid in the early afternoon, and up to now have gone back to the nest in the pen to lay, usually the single egg. Thought they may be laying away from the pen, so I've been following them around, looking under bushes that show they have pushed out a nest. (Is this how Easter Egg Hunts got started?) I have found no evidence that they are laying away from the pen. I feel I must be doing something wrong here, but just don't know what, unless they want SEX!!! HeLp [​IMG]
     
  4. MIKE555444

    MIKE555444 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You have already added the light...

    Only other suggestion I might have is to cut out any treats and make sure they have plenty of layer feed available all the time and plenty of water. They layer feed is the best menu for egg production but they may prefer to eat cracked corn [​IMG]

    I would suggest the extra light be given of the morning rather than of the evening. Two reason I suggest that. First because you want them to have enough light to find the roost. Second, you might find them going to roost(sleep) early even with a light in the evening as the sun goes down. When my light come on at 3:30am they are off the roost and even wandering out into the run a little since there's a window next to the run. The point of the light is to get them up and moving exercising and eating during those few extra hours of light. If they are sitting on the roost with the light on in the evening then you might not be helping your egg production.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  5. hcammack

    hcammack Overrun With Chickens

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    HA HA maybe my girls are protesting until I but the rooster in with them maybe I will do that today [​IMG] If they want sex they can have it I guess
     
  6. lindabean

    lindabean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Let me know if you notice increased egg production. My husband is being patient, but is threatening stew pots if things don't improve. It's really embarrassing to buy eggs when everyone knows we have 10 hens! I've been telling him, we will be over-run with eggs by Thanksgiving. Well that's just a few weeks away!
    About adding light, how bright should it be and how far away from the chickens should it be?
    Thanks
     
  7. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Everybody is in the same boat. It's just the time of year. Molting is happening, and hours of sunlight are decreasing dramatically. Getting a rooster won't help.

    Feeding a higher protein ration is a good idea. But the only thing that will truly help is supplementing light in the coop. And I mean really supplementing light! They need 14 hours of light a day to lay well. That said, I don't supplement light. I accept the fact that my hens will not lay well during the winter months. I have 4 hens who are laying right now. Each is laying about 5 eggs a week. Which is really good for this time of year, though it's down from peak production for those particular ladies. I expect that it will taper off even more. The 2 adult hens haven't molted yet. Not sure what the pullets will do. (My hopes are not high for the coming months!)

    Still, I am not considering culling any of my nonproductive hens. They will be the first ones to begin to lay as soon as conditions are favorable. If I were to eat them now and replace them in the spring, I'd be back to waiting for eggs again.

    Last year I had 3 hens who laid through the winter without stopping. Two of those girls were killed by predators this summer. The third is molting now, and is still laying the occasional egg. And I do mean occasional! I don't even count her as a layer. I'm hoping that she will start laying on a consistent basis once her molt is finished. That would be great!

    I keep an egg chart where I record each egg laid by each hen. According to that chart, my nonlaying hens started gearing back up in January, and were back up to good production by mid-February. So hang in there! Soon the molting will be over, and your hens will start laying again.

    I'm sure it also varies by location, and by age and breed of the hens. [​IMG]
     
  8. MIKE555444

    MIKE555444 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I have a 8' x 8' coop. My light is a 100 watt and is about 6' from the floor and works very well

    One light works off a light switch for when I come in to feed/water. The other works off the timer [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  9. hcammack

    hcammack Overrun With Chickens

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    I might bump up and add another hour or two of light I guess. I didn't think the rooster would help but it would be funny if it did. I need to introduce him soon anyway with his two girls.

    Henry
     
  10. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    Give them time. Let them rest. Let them have their treats. I do not add light during hours that would be dark at this time of year. They need to rest! They will lay when their bodies can handle it.
    JJ

    lindabean, tell your husband to have a pizza [​IMG]. Ask him what he would feel like if he had to birth a bowling ball every 24 hours. [​IMG] There's nothing embarassing about any of this. I enjoy explaining to people that hens need a rest during the 'shorter' days of the year. They are not machines though we humans have tried to breed them to act like them, and many die way too young as a result because we wear out their little bodies.
     

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