No eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by odysseychicken, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. odysseychicken

    odysseychicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Two issues:

    I have a Buff Orpington who started laying early last spring. Late last summer (end of Aug beginning of Sep) she went into a soft molt. Never really had any bald spots but lost a lot of feathers for about a month and a half. During this time she stopped laying. The problem is that she never started again. It is pushing 5 months with no eggs. She isn't quite a year and a half old yet. Any ideas?

    I have two Brown Leghorns that I got as chicks the first week of May '16. They started laying at the beginning of Oct. Last week they both stopped laying. I haven't had a white egg in about a week now. Then yesterday I noticed a lot of their feathers in the run. Not sure if the feathers came from one or both. No bald spots. I never hear or witness any fighting. It seems way too early for a molt not to mention it is the wrong time of the year. I haven't noticed any signs of mites (not sure if I would in the winter anyway). Any ideas?

    Most days my five birds free range. On the days when they are confined the have a very large run. I feed them a grower (for the added protein since they free range so much) and they have access to oyster shell at all times. They always have water. I don't give them a lot of treats and when I do it is one hand full of shelled sunflower seeds mixed with dried meal worms and some occasional lettuce or cabbage. They do not have supplemented light in their coop or heat. Egg laying did drop off with the shorter days as one would expect. But between the Orpington and now the leghorns we are having to buy eggs.

    Anyone have any ideas what might be going on?

    Thanks.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    Many of my birds that stopped laying last fall to molt haven't started back up yet. All my Orpingtons older than a year haven't started back up yet. So it's not unusual.

    Some birds will go through a partial neck molt in the spring. Otherwise this has been an odd molting year. I have been reading of many birds younger than a year going through a molt, some quit laying some don't. I'm think the odd winter season is the reason with the temperatures going up and down so much.
     
  3. odysseychicken

    odysseychicken Out Of The Brooder

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    I had wondered if the odd temps this winter had something to do with it. Who knows? I just hate to see them start loosing feathers now when there will still be plenty of cold night in an unheated coop.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    They will be okay. They have to get pretty naked and pretty cold to be a concern. To me pretty cold is -20 Fahrenheit.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I have several pullets(10mo) that molted this winter, mostly just neck and tails.
    One just seemed to have started and molted more than the others, she looks pretty raggedy.

    Had a couple older birds start laying again in Dec after molt....then stopped laying again in Jan and haven't started again.

    One thing you can count on with chickens?......is inconsistency, haha!
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Basically what they said. They are probably going through a molt. It may be a partial or full. But since they free range, are they hiding a nest? Hiding a nest is probably the second most common cause of them quitting laying, after a molt.

    Some chickens are fast molters, some slow. It’s not about how fast the feathers grow back in, it’s how fast they fall out. A fast molter can look pretty bald, but they get over the molt pretty fast. You may not even be able to tell a slow molter is molting by looking at them, the only way is that you see feathers flying around. It may take a few months for them to get over a full molt and back to laying. How fast the feathers fall out is controlled by genetics. I wish you luck.

    It is an unusual spring. A couple of days ago we hit 81, it smashed our heat record by 5 full degrees. Two days before that, my morning low was 18F. My daily egg production is all over the place. It seems to vary as much as the weather, probably because of the weather.
     
  7. cscigu

    cscigu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This has been my worst winter ever concerning egg production. The weather has not been bad at all, either. Molt wasn't dramatic, all look fine, but VERY few eggs. These are all fairly young hens, too.
    I usually lay it off to lack of sunlight, but this year is just plain bad. I not energetic enough on the issue to add lighting or anything, mostly venting, I guess.

    My wife read me a story off Facebook that someone fed their hens expired yogurt, and the egg production jumped. We actually found just a little container, and they did like it.

    Any other tips? I feed Purina Layena, plus all the cow manure, weed seed, etc they can scratch. They get into a lot, but it doesn't seem to matter except this winter.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017
  8. This is my first flock. They were chicks I received in the mail in July then in August. They were maturing as the daylight was changing for the fall. I keep a small light on them early 6:00-8:00am then it comes on again form 5:00-9:00pm. They started laying & I'm getting a consistent 5-6 eggs from the 9 I have. I'm from the NW Arkansas area so CST and our winter has been super mild this year so far
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    That story ended being a bunch of bosh.....numbers were seriously skewed.
    Yogurt in small amounts is OK, extra protein it can provide can be good, but too much dairy can be bad.
    Higher protein chicken feed is something you might think about, not great for them to be eating layer feed if they are not laying.

    I like to feed a flock raiser/grower/finisher 20% protein crumble full time to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat. I do grind up the crumbles (in the blender) for the chicks for the first week or so.

    The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer. I adjust the amounts of other feeds to get the protein levels desired with varying situations.

    Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.
     
  10. cscigu

    cscigu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Figured the yogurt thing was nonsense. It was on Facebook, after all.

    One thing I really like about the Purina Layena is that it allegedly is so complete, with calcium, and all the extras. I've gotten away from adding oyster shell because of that. I still toss them a little deer corn, because they love it, and it is supposed to help them generate heat while its cool. Surely that can't be an issue?
     

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