odd rooster behaviors and hens not laying yet...Also

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Drover, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. Drover

    Drover Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2011
    well, i have been kind of worried about my hens. They have not laid a single egg since december! I know that it is normal for them to take a break through winter, but I thought they would be laying again by now. They are just turning a year old.If they were eating their eggs, would I know it? I am quite the worry wart and I have been thinking that they may be eating their eggs... they only thing is im not finding any bits of shell or egg ANYWHERE in the run! We have been having some very odd tempatures lately though... it was in the 30's today and it is sopposed to be in the 80's tomorrow... could that be it? I have a friend who also owns chickens and his have been laying all through winter but he has a little nicer setup then i do ( its ain an old dairy barn, lots of room, lighting, and they never have to go outside in the cold) could that be why?


    Also, my rooster has not been breeding the hens since proboebly mid fall. Them, last weekend I let them outside of their run for the first time since the snow melted and he got to buisness right away :) . Is it just because winter isnt breeding season? Because this whole summer he was very enthusiastic about servicing the hens as often as possible, but I didn't even see it one time this winter.

    Thanks!
    -Drover
     
  2. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Hi Drover,

    This post used to be at the top of the Egg Laying forum--

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/423023/why-arent-my-chickens-laying-here-are-your-answers



    It seems like with the breeds that you have, you should be getting some eggs by now.

    Your chickens are young, and if the daylight is getting longer, they have plenty to eat---and lots of fresh water, no stress, and no major changes in their lives, no one molting, and if you know that parasites aren't affecting them...then were are the eggs?

    A possibility is that they are hiding them if you let them free range.... or as you said they, or something else, could be eating them.

    When one of my hens breaks an egg--- I usually can tell because there is dampness on the wood shavings in the nesting box. I'm thinking that if your hens broke into an egg---there might be some indication in the nesting box. Do you have a chance to really hang out with them and see if they go into the nest box--- Look for eggs a couple of times per day (maybe on the weekend)-- and monitor them carefully. I'm subscribing to find out how you end up resolving this one. good luck.
     
  3. Drover

    Drover Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2011
    Thanks Chickat!

    I havent been letting them free range regularily, just one or two days last week I let them out. I have been watching them too, but not often, I will start watching them more. I had them in a different enclosure for the winter (the summer one is not insulated) and it is kind of a small one with a concrete floor ( it is an old dog kennel) but I had them in there in early fall and it seems they were laying the most I ever got from them in the fall ( 10 eggs a day sometimes from 12 hens!) but then as december rolled around they started laying less and less and eventually stopped. Now that it is spring I can tell they want to come out and eat the tastey grass... I will be taking them back to the summer coop soon, do you think that this could have anything to do with it? like they just arent happy where they are?
     
  4. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    I have heard that happy and healthy chickens lay the most eggs....

    Also not only the grass, but the bugs and seeds that we don't even see may really boost their productivity. There is nothing like fresh feed.

    Have you by any chance wormed them? Sometimes folks do that -- and laying will subsequently pick up.
     
  5. Drover

    Drover Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2011
    Aha! Found 2 eggs today!

    You were right about how chickens lay more when they are happy when they are getting bugs and grass and such, because today is the first day in their new run, and they loved it! I checked the nest box, and sure enough, happy chickens lay lots of eggs! Thank you so much for the advise, it helped get them started laying and calmed my nerves... I was pretty worried!
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  6. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Hi Drover,

    I'm exactly the same way---- I can worry about them needlessly. Chickens are great, hardy, resourceful birds. Congratulations on the eggs--- all it took was a few bugs. ;O)
     

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