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Non-laying Chooks

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by KrazeyLady, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. KrazeyLady

    KrazeyLady Hatching

    Jun 29, 2011
    For most of my adult life I've kept chickens. Firstly as an Egg Producing Farmer back in England, with a flock of over 200 hens, and now doing similar in France, on a far smaller scall, having only 30 hens.
    This is something I have never encountered before and wondered if anyone can give me some ideas of what to do about it.

    3 new hens to the flock are showing all the signs of laying, but producing no eggs.
    They are Marans. Quite young as the oldest is only 3yrs.
    They sit on the nest, make all the right squawks as if they have laid, but - Nothing.
    At first I thought they might be egg eating, but the other day I happened to be in the coop when 2 of them left the nests. Made all the right sounds but they definately didn't produce any eggs, so they're not eating them.
    All have bright red combs and wattles so should be in the height of their production.
    The previous owner also had this problem and we thought that running with a larger flock might encourage them to lay, but they have been here over a month now and still haven't given an egg.
    They are obviously not egg bound as they would be in dire distress by now if they were.

    Any ideas/thoughts on this matter

    (a newbie to this site)

  2. duckinnut

    duckinnut Songster

    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    I have only been at this chicken thing for just over a year,but I thought after a chicken is over 2yrs that their best laying days are behind them. I know there are alot of factors involved,like if they are giving artificial light during winter. but still believe even if they are not exposed to that their best days are behind them. [​IMG]
  3. KrazeyLady

    KrazeyLady Hatching

    Jun 29, 2011
    Not quite right.
    Back in Dear Ol' Blighty I used to buy ex-battery farm chooks at approx 18mths old. That's when their "battery life" is worn out and they do go off lay.
    After a bit of TLC and getting over the fright of The Big Wide World they soon come back into lay. In the past I've had hens still laying at 10years old. Admittedly not every day like the younger chooks, but still laying enough to "earn their keep". A hen generally starts her egg laying life at about 5-6months so going off lay at 2yrs old only gives them a very short "viable" life. Hens also have their "seasons" when they go off lay for a while. This varies depending on when they were originally hatched, the weather, time of year, amount of and type of food/water available, how much range they have, how much light is provided. The type of breed also plays a part in how long they lay. Some hens are only meat producers so only lay a few eggs over their life. Others are bred especially for egg laying so will sit almost all their lives. Still others are combined meat/egg producers so lay reasonably well, but also put on enough weight to be viable for the oven.

    Of these 3 hens 1 is 3yr old, her daughter is 2yrs and grand-daughter is just about 1yr old so they should be in the prime of their laying life.

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