no eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by moonstream, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. moonstream

    moonstream New Egg

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    Feb 17, 2015
    hello all I have around 20 hens or so, 8 of which are pullets from last year the rest are going on two years. I do have probably 4 that are molting but I haven't been getting any eggs even tho I have some pullets from last april. the pullets are brahmas, does it take that long to start laying? or is there anything I should do different?

    I have a light set up on a timer that turns on at 3 in the morning. they get a dumour layer pellet, free access. This week I'm starting them on wazine for 10 days and starting to at some vitamins to their water. For the most part they have been getting to go outside except for really cold days like today. they have oyster shells.

    anything else that I should be doing different at this point? is it just the cold that is keeping them from laying? I haven't had an egg since september/October :(
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    What other breeds?
    Brahmas aren't known to be great layers.
    Are you worming because you're not getting eggs anyway or do they have worms?
    Layer feed is only for birds actively laying. Non-layers can get kidney damage from the excess calcium (4% in layer).
    I'd stop the layer for a while and switch to a grower feed till they're all laying (keeping the oyster shell available).
    What else makes up their feed besides the layer?
     
  3. moonstream

    moonstream New Egg

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    Feb 17, 2015
    as far as pullets, they are all brahmas and a Swedish flower hen. the other hens are red stars, easter eggers, brahmas, orpington, cochin,wyandotte. I'm worming because a couple of them have poo stained feathers in the back, and I've never wormed them, a few of them feel...idk light, too. they've been just getting the layer feed
     
  4. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can understand your almost two year olds taking a break, but not sure why the ones from last April are not laying. How many eggs did you get before they stopped?
    All of my birds hatched from April through June are laying now. The June birds just started recently.
    I have several different breeds. Some will lay out a clutch, then take a short break. I don't use supplemental lighting at all, figuring if their bodies need a break from laying, they will take it. Not sure if that is the right attitude but we've gone through this winter with only a few taking a short break (talking days only), then right back to laying.
    Maybe with longer natural light they will begin again. The cold has affected their laying very little.
     
  5. moonstream

    moonstream New Egg

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    Feb 17, 2015
    I was getting about 9-12 before, then slowly dropped down. I was getting two pullet eggs for awhile too, from the flower hen and one of the brahmas. the weather has been eratic here, maybe that's it? 50-60 earlier last week, 40 on sunday, -8 today 30 again by Thursday.
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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  7. moonstream

    moonstream New Egg

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    Feb 17, 2015
    I can honestly say that's the first time I've heard that but ok. So put them back on chick starter or a meat grower? When do I start feeding them a layer ration again? When one or the majority start laying?
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I have mixed flocks so rarely feed layer unless all in the same flock are laying - then it's a no brainer.
    This is a generalization but layer feed was developed for farms/commercial operations that have all the same age birds beginning to lay at the same time and basically, when they stop laying, they're slaughtered.
    Layer feed is only for birds that are actively producing egg shells.

    layer feed is about 4% calcium. all other feeds are about 1% calcium. That's a huge difference.
    Think about a single mineral making up 4% of the diet. [​IMG]

    You can switch back when the majority are laying. Just make sure you have oyster shell available if you have birds building egg shells.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
  9. manaze88

    manaze88 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 11 hens and I always get a drop off in the winter, it's natural with the shorter days. My breakdown of hens:

    - 5 easter eggers (almost 3 years old)
    - 3 buff orpingtons (almost a year old)
    - 3 black sex link (almost a year old)

    For me, what works is this (and might not work for you):

    - My light goes on at 4:30pm and off at 9pm. I don't set a light in the morning, and the days are already longer so I could probably change it to 5:30pm to come on at this point.

    - I free feed, as well...and keep the layer feed filled at all times. I also throw out any/all scraps from our food that the chickens can pick through, or let it break down and attract other bugs/critters that they can enjoy.

    - I throw handfuls of black oil sunflower seeds (BOSS) a couple times a week to give them extra protein.

    - I throw scratch out as well, from time to time.

    - Fresh water. I do my best to take them fresh and thawed water. Some days I don't get to it, but they have a hanging bucket with a de-icer in it and they all know how the nipples work. I think the water is huge in keeping them hydrated in the colder weather, but I don't know the science behind it so don't take my word for it. Fresh water is just important any way you slice it, but not sure how much that impacts the egg laying issues.

    Between the 11 hens, I'm getting on average about 6 eggs a day. The easter eggers are more infrequent than the other 2 breeds, but in the spring I think my daily average should bump up to at least 8 a day.

    Hope it helps and you can try different things until you find what works for you!
     
  10. JadedPhoenix

    JadedPhoenix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Instead of chick feed, I'd go with "all flock". Make sure they have a calcium source of some kind (oyster shells or crushed egg shells do well) and I usually offer layer for those who want it but I also keep some scratch grains that I toss in addition to some general feed since I have a rooster and layer feed is bad for the boys.

    I still believe that your funky temps do have some influence on your chickens. The negative 20 degree thing may apply in areas where the chickens are acclimated to colder temps but those who aren't do tend to be more sensitive. I always have drop offs when it starts getting below about 40 degrees. Out of 17 hens, I was lucky to get 2 eggs a day for a couple of months. I get about 4-5 on average now but when it gets warmer they will all be spitting them out.
     

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