No eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by DrDean, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. DrDean

    DrDean Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2013
    Auburn Alabama
    We have 19 hens and a rooster. We purchased chicks in June of 2013 and started getting eggs around Thanksgiving of last year. For a few months in the winter and spring, we were getting about 12-15 eggs a day. That started decreasing around June. Now we might get an egg a week. I realize that laying decreases in the fall, but is that much of a decrease normal? When will egg production likely resume? A few of the hens have molted, but not many. They all appear healthy. Thanks!
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Many hens stop laying completely as soon as the day length drops, or the weather suddenly turns cold and only resume laying in Spring. They need around 14 hours of light per day to keep their ovaries stimulated and them in production.
     
  3. jennykpna

    jennykpna Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2014
    Massachusetts
    It's cold in November here, just got a cool water bowl hat prevents water from freezing for my hens. We have 2 brownleghorns, one was laying 3-4 a week, the other did not yet begin laying. The barred rock and Rhode Island Red are laying still, maybe an egg or 2 less a week
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    That's a long time to be without eggs.
    It's probably pretty hot where you are too, that could have something to do with it.

    Do you free range?
    Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop for 2-3 days can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. They can be confined to coop 24/7 for a few days to a week, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it.

    Have you thought about using supplemental lighting....kind of late to start now but still:
    The not laying could be because of lack of daylight. Sometimes first year layers will lay all winter without supplemental lighting, sometimes they won't.
    Older layers need 14-16 hours of light to lay regularly thru winter. Last winter I used a 40 watt incandescent light(this year I am using a CFL) that comes on early in the morning to provide 14-15 hours of light and they go to roost with the natural sundown. Last year I started the lighting increase a bit late(mid October), the light should be increased slowly, and the pullets didn't start laying until late December. Here's a pretty good article on supplemental lighting. Some folks think that using lighting shortens the years a hen will lay, I don't agree with that theory but I also plan to cull my older hens for soup at about 3 years old.
     
  5. DrDean

    DrDean Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2013
    Auburn Alabama
    It's actually been unusually cold here: 19F one morning this week. We are getting a little over 10 hours of sunlight here right now. Even in June, we only get a little over 14 hours max, this far south. Most of the hens lay in the boxes in the hen house, although one or two sometimes lay elsewhere. Is there an LED light optimized for chickens? LED grow lights for plants have particular colors for specific plant growth attributes. I figure the same would/could be done for chickens, and LED lights would use far less power than incandescents.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    LED in a grow spectrum would work well I would think.
    I have no idea about an optimized chicken spectrum.
     

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