OK...Why are my hens not laying like they were??? Help?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mmtillman, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. mmtillman

    mmtillman Chillin' With My Peeps

    My chickens slowed down egg production last winter...that was expected... [​IMG] it was a very harsh 3-4 months.
    Then spring came and they were laying back to 80-90%...About then, we noticed our roos were wearing out the hens.....many of my hens were ridden so much they lost feathers on the backside....... so, we got rid of all the roosters. This was about April.
    Then ........the awful hot months of the past summer...they slowed down on eggs once again....we figured they would, it was brutal heat!!! ....out of 18 hens...I was getting 7-10 eggs. Still not too bad.
    We figured when fall arrived they would pick back up. We noticed they were still loosing feathers on the back sides....??? N ot all of them...just about half of them .....I never had a flock ''molt'' before, but was told this was probally ''the molt'' and they would slow down on egg production during this time. OK.
    Well...summer came and went....fall is here..temps are cooler...some of the hens seem to be growing back some of their feathers....while still, others are barebacked now. IN the past 3 months, I average about 5-7 eggs....out of the 18 hens !!!!!!!!! [​IMG]
    Is there something else going on here ??? I sell my eggs to cover the cost of feed.....and these girls are NOT earning their keep.
    I just need to know what if anything is wrong , or if I can help them to lay better. Hubby is even feeding them peppers !! I feed them egg pellets...no corn till winter months. Any suggestions??? Thanks in advance everyone! [​IMG]
     
  2. mmtillman

    mmtillman Chillin' With My Peeps

    I should mention I ordered these hens my self..they are 18 months old.....they were egg laying machines for awhile and now...zip.
    Could it be that they are missing the roosters? [​IMG]
     
  3. spydertoys

    spydertoys Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2008
    Munfordville, Kentucky
    They cut back laying considerably while they adjust to the shorter days and cooler nights. Chickens react strongly to changes in the weather.
    It's also molting season..which will stop them entirely while they use the nourishment in the feed to grow feathers rather than lay eggs. They will get back to normal eventually.
    Some are affected more than others.
     
  4. mmtillman

    mmtillman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you ...I think you must be right....I have been reading other post and seems this is the ''molt season'' ?
    I never had a flock that molted before, so, I was not sure what to look for, except for the bare patches on the back and some neck and head feathers missing.
    Is this indeed a molt ?
    I guess I just need to be patient.....I know I have no egg eaters...and they are confined...so the molt makes sense......I keep thinking back to the days of 16-18 eggs a day and feel discouraged.....[​IMG]
    ( I even sat down and had a serious talk with these girls [​IMG] and told them that they better be thinking about that trip to Freezer Camp, if they dont get back to laying like good little hens should!
     
  5. RobinZ

    RobinZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 9 egg laying machines where putting out 8 eggs average a/day. Molting started about a month ago when they reached 18 months, some days I get no eggs, 3 eggs a/day is rare. Hope all gets back to normal soon.
     
  6. RobinZ

    RobinZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2009
    Pennsylvania
    Quote:A couple of my chickens have lost so many feathers they look like footballs with legs.
     
  7. spydertoys

    spydertoys Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2008
    Munfordville, Kentucky
    Quote:The Roos will make their backs bare, but that doesn't have anything to do with molting. That's nothing more than a Roo with a favorite hen..love struck...lol.
    I have a couple birds who are molting so bad they look like they had a run in with a preditor. And feathers on the ground everywhere...lol.
    But no matter how bad they look now, they will be gorgeous when all the new feathers are grown out. But if they are a favorite of the Roo..they will still have bare backs.
     
  8. mmtillman

    mmtillman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:A couple of my chickens have lost so many feathers they look like footballs with legs.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. mmtillman

    mmtillman Chillin' With My Peeps

    This gives me hope that, eventually, I will, again, be picking 16-18 eggs a day....Thanks !! [​IMG]
     
  10. spydertoys

    spydertoys Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2008
    Munfordville, Kentucky
    Quote:A couple of my chickens have lost so many feathers they look like footballs with legs.

    I wish my Major Molters looked THAT good!!!
     

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