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Not me mister!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Our Roost, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 2 1 &1/2 year old black sex link hens that have never layed an egg ever! These 2 birds were loners and always shunned by the other hens. On the other hand, they were our roosters favorite mounts. They undoubtedly had the best markings of all our birds and were our favorites. The best looking birds on the block so to speak. Black sex links are known for superior egg production and it baffles me as to why they didn't lay a single egg. I have read that some birds never produce but have never found out the reason why? Any feedback would be appreciated.
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Kelp powder or granules can start non-layers laying. Worth a try, I reckon. It's just dried seaweed.

    I've had great results from using kelp as a daily additive to their feeds.

    It's possible they never developed sufficiently to lay eggs, even though they seem adult; kelp is a multivitamin and mineral nutritional supplement which governs the endocrine system. So if it's lack of hormones, or an imbalance, or an overdose, there's a very good chance kelp can fix it. You might have to wait anywhere from a week to a year to see the results though, I can't offhand guess when. But kelp's worth it, and helps with many things including moulting, strength of genetics, calmness, general health, etc.

    Best wishes.
     
  3. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thankyou very much for your response on kelp additives. Reading up on the list of additives I feed my birds, I find that kelp is in there to help produce better productivity. Kelp doesn't appear to be the issue but thankyou.
     
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    That's a good feed, to include kelp. If it's pelletized though, or in crumble, it'll be cooked, and needless to say cooked feed is less healthy than raw feed. I personally wouldn't use cooked kelp. A fair bit of its minerals would still be present in good form but other components would be altered and damaged. Since it's already in their feed though I wouldn't supplement them with raw kelp because they could receive an overdose of something or several somethings which can be as fatal as an underdose, except overdose is usually quicker acting. Same symptoms though in most cases.

    Some strains of chooks don't produce well on certain feeds, i.e. some don't cope with soy and legumes well. It might help to do a complete check of all the unusual ingredients in your feed, as in check around on the internet whether anyone else has had birds fail to lay with such additives in their diet. Just a random idea, might be irrelevant. Another theory is that the kelp in your feed is too low to achieve the standard dosage per bird, which is a pinch per adult bird, per day. If any of the non-laying females are on your to-cull list, maybe a cull and autopsy would reveal the cause.

    I found that when feeding kelp for a few generations all the bird's crests were intense blood-red, and the males had deep cherry-red crests; not a pink crest among them. Even the week old cockerels would get cherry red crests. The moulting stopped exposing bare patches and they had strong enough feathers to cope with the gender ratio often peaking at 50:50. I experimented with the kelp and stopped feeding it to them, and rapidly they lost the intense crest, wattle and face coloration and began moulting badly (normally) again; went back to feeding kelp, and they recovered, so I know it's the kelp in that case. But even if yours are getting enough kelp something else can be holding them back.

    If these non layers were my poultry, I'd separate a test hen out of the non-layers and feed her plain grains, some raw stuff like grass and garlic, non pellet/crumble protein, and a pinch of granulated kelp per day mixed in with her feed. Soon enough you'd see if it was the form of the kelp being administered that's at fault, or something else in the diet. But it does sound more severe than a mere deficiency, since even hens on a kelp-less diet ought to lay. There are some diseases that can cause cessation of laying. It's possible also that you've bought hens from a breeder who carries a line of birds that tend towards sterility or intersexed birds, so they're not full females nor full males. There's a lot of things that could be behind this. I would check their water sources, the containers they're fed and watered in, and the soil and buildings they live in, as well as all plants and insects they have access to. Excess estrogen can cause infertility in females too, so if a plastic container is leaching too much, that could be it. Various chemicals could be causing this, too. Certain fungi in the environment can also cause laying to cease. As always some individuals are more susceptible than others.

    Best wishes and I hope you find what the issue is.
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Do you have pictures of the birds?

    Do they free range?

    If you have other hens, how do you know these particular birds don't lay?
     
  6. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dear donrae and others, I was looking for an answer and not a question or suggestion. Please don't take offense. Trust when I say these birds have never layed an egg. These were 2 of 25 hatchery birds that are almost 2 years old. For what ever reason these 2 birds never entered the nesting boxes. They ate the same food and drank the same water and ate the same treats and greens as everyone else. I think the answer lies with the hatchery and too much inner genetic inbreeding of their stock but cant attest to that. Until I get a professional opinion, I have no clue. I was just curious if anyone else experienced this. Thank you all very much.
     
  7. SunAndDirt

    SunAndDirt Chillin' With My Peeps

    You should have put a caveat after the "Any feedback would be appreciated" part of your post.
     
  8. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

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    True, true! And they say curiousity killed the cat and so forth.
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Well, just trying to help. Won't do that anymore. And I'm always genuinely curious how folks with several birds know which ones are or are not laying as personally I have no clue. Good luck with your birds.
     
  10. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote: If you ask for an answer, you will receive questions and suggestions because we are not omniscient and cannot tell your situation's perfect answer from what little info you provided.

    Only a certain sort of person thinks they know the exact answer without knowing the pertinent details. If you're looking for answers from that sort of person, you're going to get yourself in trouble.

    Since you weren't actually after info, it would have been nice if you'd mentioned that, so I didn't waste my time trying to help someone who doesn't want help. I agree that saying 'any feedback would be appreciated' was misleading. But no offense taken. Just a little inconvenience.
    Quote: Unless you've got cameras on the boxes or personally watch them 24/7, how can you be sure? Never mind, though, it's safe to say this conversation's run through to its conclusion and there's nothing more to say.

    Best wishes with your flock.
     

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