Nother "Why Aren't My Hens Laying?" Thread

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gltrap54, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. gltrap54

    gltrap54 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2010
    I've done the search here & I admit, there are a drove of reasons why hens don't lay........ Here's my story......


    6 Golden Comet hens 2.5 YO. Haven't laid a single egg in 6- 8 weeks. Appear to be molting......... Properly fed & housed, so there's no issues there... They slowed way down in the dreadful heat of summer then quit all together..... Any thoughts?
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    They are molting. Hens usually do not lay eggs while molting. It takes all their energy to regrow their feathers, then they have to get their body weight back up before they can start laying again.
     
  3. seventreesfarm

    seventreesfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine just dropped from 20-23 eggs per day (from 25 8 month old hens) to 6-9 per day. Which totally sucks because I have customers. There are 9 more pullets in that flock just starting to lay, but not enough to tell if they're quitting too.

    Maybe they didn't like the way I split the extra light between morning and night. They just go to roost anyway, even with the coop light on. I looked back at my log book and the drop off came soon after the fall equinox, so this weekend I chnged the lights to come on early enough in the morning to give them 15 hours of light, and move their feeder to a spot with no drafts and near the light.

    Nobody looks to be moulting, only one slightly broody....
    I was letting them forage all day, but noticed they weren't eating as much layer pellets, so now they only get out in the afternoons. There aren't any bugs really since the weather changed, so maybe not enough protein?

    And just a few days ago we went from months of dry & sunny weather to wet and windy.

    I guess time will tell, but I hate telling my customers that they have to wait. I try to keep a flock big enough to cover down times, but this is nuts!
     
  4. gltrap54

    gltrap54 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Happy Chooks! Guess I don't recall this long of an egg drought with their last (first actually) molt.... I've had them since chicks...... How long does the molt last?
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Depends on the hen and how bad of a molt she goes through. Average for my flock is about 3 months. Some are a bit quicker and some are a bit slower.
     
  6. gltrap54

    gltrap54 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow ! I never dreamed the molting process was that long..... Since they are 2.5 yo, I'm sure I witnessed their first molt, but for some reason thought it was much shorter......
     

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