NObody is laying!!!???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Lisa W, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. Lisa W

    Lisa W Out Of The Brooder

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    I have one Buff Orpington and 3 black australorpes. The Orpington I've had since about May. She was laying pretty good and suddenly stopped sometime in June. Thought she was molting, that seems to be well over with but still no eggs. She healthy and happy, well fed,etc. Then about 3 weeks ago I got the australorpes. The lady I got them from said they were laying very regularly. I figured there would be a transition period, but I've had them at least 3 weeks, they seem very well adjusted, but NO EGGS!! We are having beautiful warm weather here (NC), they have a good diet, they are getting to free range some, etc. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I hate buying eggs at the grocery store!
     
  2. DavidKerk

    DavidKerk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You should try putting a light that is on a timer in the coop. You'll want to see what time the sun comes up and down, total how many hours that is, and then set the timer so that it comes on right before the sun rises or right after the sun sets and brings the total hours of light to between 14 and 16 hours. I hope this helps! Merry Christmas (see signature)!!!
     
  3. davemonkey

    davemonkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tis the season. My girls were laying just peachy up until 3-4 months ago, and then ZIP. Out of 12-16 hens (some have been eaten since) we went from 8 per day to 3, then 2, then 1, then nothing. For about 3 months we got anywhere from 0-3 eggs per day...mostly 1 or nothing. Some hens were molting, some just seemed to be having "sympathy molt syndrome" (I made that up) and some just weren't laying for who knows why. Then about 3 weeks ago, we FINALLY started seeing eggs again. 3 eggs per day, then 5, then 6. Then it went back to 4, and then POW...we have been getting 5-8 per day for the past 2 weeks. And this week it has been a solid 8 eggs per day out of the 12 hens we have, and that counts the 2 that have not started laying yet (even though they are both 30 weeks old).

    My advice is to just ride the storm (or lack of storm) and your hens will reward your patience later. You can try a light to make them lay more in the "molt season", but they'll just stop laying earlier on in life as they age. If a hen is supposed to lay 220 eggs per year, then she'll lay 220 per year...even though it might not be uniformly spaced through the year.
     
  4. Lisa W

    Lisa W Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 31, 2013
    Thanks for the encouragement!
     
  5. DavidKerk

    DavidKerk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, a chicken is born with all the eggs it will ever lay in it as tiny cells. If you use a light all winter, then more of those will be used each year, and the chicken may stop laying earlier.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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  7. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    The Australorps could have been molting, and haven't started back up yet. Once they replace all their feathers, they have to get their body weight back up. Your original pullets may just be stressed from the addition of the new birds. They should be starting any time now.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Aart, here’s the response I got from a person I consider one of the top chicken reproduction experts in the country when I asked about a hen running out of ova. He teaches poultry science at the University of Arkansas, one of the top three poultry science departments in the USA.

    Yes, a young Pullet chick hatches with a determinant number of follicles on her left ovary that are possible to be developed to become one of the yolk or ova in an egg. Only the left ovary develops in most avian species so anything on the right ovary never develops and is of no use. So can a hen theoretically 'run out of' potential follicles? Yes she can and this does occur on occasion. It happens often in parrots that may live 70, 80 or even up to 100 years of age. These hens that run out of follicles are referred to as 'slick hens' as the ovaries are often checked by veterinarians and confirmed that they are indeed 'slick' hens with 'slick ovaries' that have no more follicles to develop.

    So does this happen often in chickens? Not really that often because most of our domestic chickens do not live long enough to run out of follicles, they 'run out of gas' in other ways much sooner. This could be some other disease or infection or condition related to extended periods of laying that might either cause death or an inability to produce and develop proper shells on an egg.

    So in short, yes it's possible but unlikely for a chicken to become 'slick' and run out of follicles.

    Keith Bramwell
    Dept of Poultry Science
    University of Arkansas

     
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  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Well, I guess I need to change my verbiage with that blurb to....'it is highly unlikely that a hen will ever run out of eggs'..... never say never ;-)
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013

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