Only four eggs from four hens in FIVE months. What to do?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by GoDawgs, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. GoDawgs

    GoDawgs Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Atlanta burbs
    I have four hens (all I'm allowed on our small property) - Two Easter Eggers, one Speckled Sussex, and one Dominique. I purchased them last spring, and was told that they were under a year old and just started laying. Things were great in the spring and summer - at least 14 eggs per week, which is plenty for my family. Then they started molting in October, and completely stopped laying. Fine, no biggie. However, by December they were done molting and had beautiful, full feathers. Still no eggs. Someone on this board told me to give it until March before giving up hope. So I did. The last week of February I got three very small brown eggs. Then today I got one more small brown egg. So the Easter Eggers have definitely gone a good five months without a single egg, and between the two brown egg layers I've gotten four eggs in five months.

    I have the four hens listed on here and on Craigslist to give away, but it makes me sad. I really like these hens, and really like the eggs we got from them before they stopped laying. But we're approaching 6 months now with nearly no egg production, and it's not like we live in a cold state with long winters (I'm in Georgia). The entire reason we have hens is for the eggs.

    I'm looking for opinions. Do I get rid of them and start over, and if so, with what breed? Is there something I can try to get a decent egg production back and to prevent this from happening next fall and winter? They have plenty of food (Purina Layena), I mix in egg shells as they refuse to eat them when offered separately and then lay jelly eggs, they have plenty of water, they look and act healthy, have a clean coop, seem happy.

    Do you think the seller misrepresented the age of the hens? Did I just get bad hens? Advice?
     
  2. DaughterOfEve

    DaughterOfEve Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Montague, MI
    Molting can put them out of commission for 6 months easily. If you had a few eggs recently then I would give them another month to get going again. You may have gotten older hens but molting hens whether older or prime egg age still stop laying. If you like them then that is a decision you will have to make whether or not to give them more time. We have 16 layers. A couple we will keep until they pass naturally just because we like them.
     
  3. BuffOrpington88

    BuffOrpington88 Non-Stop

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    Mar 20, 2012
    Do they free range? Because if they do, they are probably hiding the eggs.
     
  4. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm Premium Member

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    Apr 13, 2008
    Bowdon, GA
    I have had moulting put out of commission our chicks for many months. Worst was 5 months. Okay, putting the lights on the area for simulated light also helps. Also check for lice and mites in vent area and under arms. Both have been rampant and can cut production. Lastly, check for egg eating snakes. I've been hit with them about 6 times in 6 months...! Good luck!
     
  5. Chickengeorge1

    Chickengeorge1 Just Hatched

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    Sep 4, 2012
    Bedforshire
    I have the sme issue I have 5 Beautiful buff orpington hen and only 4 are laying out of 5 is this normal[​IMG]what shall I do.
    3birds I had from lady year and 2 are new birds...


    Advice please
     
  6. subhanalah

    subhanalah Overrun With Chickens

    How old are your girls? Is it possible they are rotating and one hen takes a break every so often?
     
  7. flickerloo

    flickerloo Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 27, 2013
    NW Washington
    I was having a similar issue with hens that I got last September who were all 18 months old at the time. I read on a different thread that one traditional method of stimulating lay was feeding black pepper. Other people were trying red pepper flakes or cayenne powder with some success. I figured it wouldn't hurt to try. Within a few days of adding red pepper flakes to the morning mash, I had a new layer and then another. Within a week, all six were laying. I'm getting 4-5 eggs a week from each of them. Might have been coincidence, but it was a really significant coincidence then!
     
  8. REDNECK TRAPPER

    REDNECK TRAPPER Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2014
    butcher those hens and get 4 more new ones. get some RIR OR Red sex links.
     

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