No fruit to laying hens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by 4-H chicken mom, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Crowing

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    Well folks, there may be something to the no fruit thing. I would have never believed it until now. We have always given watermelon to our hens without any problems. They loved it and kept right on laying. Two things that we were different are: First, back in Aug. my teenage daughter (who works at a farm market) brought herself home a cantalope to try for herself, she didn't like it so she decided to give it to our chickens. Now this was after we came home from the fair. I posted back then asking why would a pullet who started laying at the fair stop laying when we got back home. Many thought it could be the stress of change of residence, just give her time. Well, none of our chickens are laying including the pullets that are now 28 weeks old and no eggs. The second thing was, the outside chicken pen (which is next the the woods line) had wild grape vines growing through the trees. This is the first year that they were loaded with wild grapes that fell into the pen. The chickens loved it. It was a riot watching them jump up trying to get the grapes off the vine. Anyway, we haven't had any eggs since the end of Aug. My daughter really believes it was the cantalope. I don't know what to think. I am trying the light therapy thing by having the light come on at 4am to see if it would help force them back into laying. I had to buy eggs the other day for the first time in years. It was a sick feeling. I don't know if my husband will put up with no eggs for 5 months if that is how long Meyer hatchery says it could take. So just a word of caution to all those who give fruit to your chickens. Don't try anything different that you haven't already been giving them and still get eggs. It is not worth it. I am going to try to find someone who sells fresh eggs. Store bought eggs really do taste different and not for the better.
  2. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Songster

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    I've never heard of this. Am I missing something? I'm new to chickens, and I seem to learn something everyday.
  3. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    That's news to me too, never heard of it before.
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I am still not convinced it is the fruit unless that is all they end up eating. It's not really the time of year of best production. Molt, fair, weather, all can affect laying. If there is too much fruit, an unbalanced diet can reduce it but not stop it. I say there are multiple factors at play.
  5. eggzettera

    eggzettera Songster you have me wondering, I have not had any eggs for week but I attributed it to the change in seasons.....wonder if it affects some more then others...
  6. Wynette

    Wynette Crowing

    Sep 25, 2007
    I'm new to chickens as well, but I gave my pullets several bananas just this past Tuesday, and yesterday (Wednesday) I had 4 eggs out of 6 pullets! I've given watermelon and apples too, and haven't noticed any difference in their laying. But maybe that's because they're still young (25 weeks)?
  7. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Crowing

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    Yes, If you have ever ordered from Meyer Hatchery, their cataloge even states on it: Do not give fruit to laying hens it can stop them from laying eggs! Many never believed it because we have given fruit to our chickens for years without any problems. I guess there is a first for everything.
  8. TundraChick

    TundraChick Songster

    Aug 6, 2007
    West Viriginia
    I give fruit everyday. i now have on hen laying almost daily and another that was laying and has completely stopped. I attribute this to a reduction in daylight. The Meyer catalog is the only place I have ever seen this information.

    If anyone could find some literature on this that would be great!
  9. Wolfpacker

    Wolfpacker Songster

    Jul 7, 2007
    I give grapes and watermelons to my girls. They're almost 22 weeks old. No eggs yet!
  10. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Crowing

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    Well silkchicken, we haven't done anything else different. The fruit was a once a week treat. Same food and not all of the chickens went to the fair and not molting, but they all got the same amount of the cantalope and they all ate the wild grapes. This is the first time this has ever happened. I do know my chickens won't ever get cantalope again and we pulled the grape vines from the pen. I don't want to take any chances. We will stick to watermelon.

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