One breed not laying, others are

scottvan

Chirping
Oct 11, 2018
21
31
59
Puget Sound / Seattle
I have four Buff Orpingtons who are two years old and two Easter Eggers who are 20 weeks old. The EEs are laying eggs regularly, but the Orps have stopped completely. It's probably been three or four weeks since I've seen an egg from them. They get plenty of daylight, free-range, and appear to be healthy and happy. They all eat the same layer feed. I've checked the few bushes in the free-range area but no eggs there, either. I also have a rooster who is 25 weeks old. Any suggestions? Seems strange that one breed would stop laying.
 

AidKD

Chirping
Jul 6, 2020
318
471
90
America
This is also my problem. I think once the Buffs reach around 2 years is when they stop. Mine are just shy of 2 years and I haven't gotten an egg in a month.
 

NatJ

Crowing
Mar 20, 2017
3,134
4,702
306
USA
Pullets that grew up this year (the Easter Eggers) often lay right through the fall without molting, but older hens (the Orpingtons) molt each fall. And of course they don't usually lay while they're molting. Considering the time of year, maybe they're starting to molt a bit early?
 

scottvan

Chirping
Oct 11, 2018
21
31
59
Puget Sound / Seattle
Pullets that grew up this year (the Easter Eggers) often lay right through the fall without molting, but older hens (the Orpingtons) molt each fall. And of course they don't usually lay while they're molting. Considering the time of year, maybe they're starting to molt a bit early?
I thought that, too, but there are no signs of molting yet.
 

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
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WA, Pac NW
My Coop
I think it's more the age than the breed. All of my older hens (4 yrs old) have quit laying (likely for the year). Of my 2 yr old birds, the EEs are laying, their FBCM hatchmate went broody then molted and hasn't laid since.
 

nao57

Songster
Mar 28, 2020
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When they are a bit older and stop laying there's two things you can try....

One is try treating them for nutrient deficiency/malnutrition for awhile and then give it some time. I would also take a look at Calcium deficiency also.

Also, the more older ducks are going to be more heat vulnerable than the others. You could also try waiting until the worst of the heat has passed and then see if they are still not responding.

You could also try a de-wormer or treating for parasites as a third option.

If something else comes to mind I'll let you know.

Side note; there are people who say they can get their ducks and laying hen chickens to stay laying for several years past the first two or three years. There's something quite interesting about this! If you talk to them or read their notes, you will see that these people also tend to have higher quality food for their poultry.

So its reasonable to think that this approach could be duplicated.

But it could also mean that if universally all of your ducks aren't producing eggs past 2 years that maybe there's something in the nutrients you might haven't been hitting quite right.

I have not read anything to think that any particular breed of duck will stop laying sooner than others. I don't know if this is true yet as a breed problem therefore, its possible it could be either that or just nutrition. But I would suspect nutrition more than breed problems.

Some types of waterfowl can be long lived. I don't know the longevity of ducks, and most people probably don't because we tend to think of them as a tool that is converted to meat. But people who raise geese have put it in writing that they can get geese to live for 30 years or more. This suggests that they could be useful past the two year mark (even though ducks and geese have marked differences.)

Also, it does seem like someone could hypothesize also to find out if there's a use for these ducks that aren't laying anymore besides just meat. For example, could you trick the non-laying hens (that are old) to be broody to keep your other hens from stopping to lay to care for eggs?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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My Coop
I thought that, too, but there are no signs of molting yet.
They often stop laying before the molt starts, shorter days.
Some birds molt slowly too, not dropping a ton of feathers all at once.

If you suspect a hidden nest, check their pelvic points.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/who-is-laying-and-who-is-not-butt-check.73309/

Then maybe:
Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop for a week or so can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. Fake eggs/golf balls in the nests can help 'show' them were to lay. They can be confined to coop and maybe run 24/7 for a few days to a week, provided you have adequate space and ventilation, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.
 

nao57

Songster
Mar 28, 2020
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They often stop laying before the molt starts, shorter days.
Some birds molt slowly too, not dropping a ton of feathers all at once.

If you suspect a hidden nest, check their pelvic points.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/who-is-laying-and-who-is-not-butt-check.73309/

Then maybe:
Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop for a week or so can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. Fake eggs/golf balls in the nests can help 'show' them were to lay. They can be confined to coop and maybe run 24/7 for a few days to a week, provided you have adequate space and ventilation, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.
Very detailed! Nice. Thanks!

Also to others;

Oops! Both chickens and ducks have a breed called buff orpington. I had misread this thinking you were talking ducks. And then later I caught the word rooster that I'd somehow missed.

This might change things a bit.
 

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