No eggs in two months!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Patoot, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. Patoot

    Patoot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 20, 2010
    I have 4 Rhode Island Reds who are two years old. They laid all through last winter even though there were slightly less eggs. I live in New Mexico. We don't get much snow, but it can get cold at night. I don't use supplemental heat or light. I was getting 3-4 eggs a day and I haven't gotten a single one in two months. I know production can slow down in the winter, but it didn't last year. Shouldn't I be getting a few eggs?

    I haven't changed their diet. They get high protein layer pellets. They don't get many table scraps, but I give them grapes, tomatoes, and spinach occasionally, but not too much. I'd say less than once a week. On really cold mornings I make them hot oatmeal, but that's less than once a week.

    One decided to molt, but now has most of her feathers back. I read that lack of eggs can be disease, stress, diet, or daylight/temp. I don't think they are sick or stressed and their diet is the same as always. Is it just the daylight hours thing?

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Southern Oregon
    It's totally normal. Hens usually lay right through that first year, then the next fall, around 18 months, they molt and quit laying for the winter. They'll start back up in the spring and lay well until next winter, when they again take the winter off. It's the natural way to give their bodies a break from the constant stress of production. It's also the reason the big commercial operations get rid of their layers at 18 months. A lot of backyard folks do, too. You just need to make the decision if you want to carry non-laying birds over the winter each year or not. If you want eggs all year, you can try supplementing light, sometimes that works. Some of us feels it shortens the number of years a bird will lay. Or, you can buy a few chicks each spring to have fresh layers to lay each winter.
     
  3. Patoot

    Patoot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 20, 2010
    Okay thanks! I wasn't sure if something was wrong since they laid through their first winter. Well, this is technically their third winter, but they just started laying late fall 2010 and then laid great through the winter of 2011 and then stopped this year around November. Good to know they are okay. I will not kill them. I'll just wait until spring. Thanks. They will be 3 in May/June.
     

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