Opinion needed

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Tyandmacsmom, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. Tyandmacsmom

    Tyandmacsmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 28, 2011
    Hello everyone! [​IMG]

    I have 14 laying hens (more that are almost ready to lay, but 14 that SHOULD be laying.) I was getting 8-10 eggs per day out of them, I installed a light to make sure they are getting at least 14 hours per day, etc. I am now getting 2-4 eggs per day. The only thing that has changed, (besides the weather), is that I switched their feed because I switched places where I was purchasing it, so it is a different brand. It is still layer pellets, 16% protein. Is it possible or rather probable that the change in feed has stopped their production?

    Thanks in advance!!
    Miranda
     
  2. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm Premium Member

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    Miranda, feed change can affect a drastic change, If I ever need to change, I try to do it gradually.... So there is less shock to the birds....

    Also, be on the look out for an egg snake, theya re rampant this year............

    Keep us posted. Blessings on you and your flock/ Nancy
     
  3. wrestling_mom

    wrestling_mom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would think so, but I am no expert.
     
  4. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feed can be a big part of it, but it's probably just the weather. They always slow down in the winter and pick back up in the spring, it's normal for chickens and healthier for them if you let them go natural.
     
  5. Tyandmacsmom

    Tyandmacsmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 28, 2011
    Thank you all for the input. I have switched the timing for the light, (I'm going to extend their day with it rather than start their day with it, to see if that makes a difference), and am going to switch back to the feed I fed them previously. If it is only due to the weather, I'm in for a long winter paying for feed for chickens that won't lay. I have comets, a couple RIR, ameracaunas (who aren't laying yet), Delawares (not laying yet), black sex links and an australorp.
    So here is another stupid question, for my birds that haven't started laying yet, will they decide not to lay until Spring? My Ameracaunas are six months old, and NOTHING! Sorry for my rant, I'm a little frustrated. Between my coop, fencing, buying birds and the travel to get them, I'm a little broke on this hobby that I could justify if we were getting enough eggs to sustain my four person household.

    Miranda
     
  6. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    It's always suggested to put those extra light hours in the morning and not the evening because it can surprise them and go off before they've gotten settled onto their roost for the night.
     
  7. Tyandmacsmom

    Tyandmacsmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 28, 2011
    They go into the hen house about 6:30 p.m., and I have it set to go off at 9:30 p.m., and come back on at 6:30 a.m. It shouldn't take three hours for them to settle in, should it? (I'm not arguing with your logic, it's just that I've had it on only in the a.m. hours, and obviously that is not working out the way I thought it would.) I had it come on at 2:30 until 7:30 a.m., and it doesn't seem to make a difference. We'll see I suppose, I do know for sure I'm going back to the old food as soon as I can make it to the feed store!
     
  8. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    The light goes off suddenly rather than slowly like when the sun goes down. So the logic is that once inside, it seems light enough so they might not be roosting when it does turn off. Just letting you know. If it isn't a problem, then it isn't [​IMG]

    Personally I don't use lights out there so I can't say from experience. Mine lay pretty well all winter without lights.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011
  9. GAchick

    GAchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you can set the light up to gradually dim right before it goes off, you should be good. The problem is when it suddenly goes off, and they aren't roosting. If it goes dim slowly before it goes off, it's more like the sun going down, and they have time to get into position. No, your new girls will start up whenever they get to the proper maturity. Maybe not quite as abundantly as they will come spring, but they will lay.
     
  10. Tyandmacsmom

    Tyandmacsmom Out Of The Brooder

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    The only reason I opted for lights, is we're in Vermont...aka, the freeze box of the north. [​IMG] I thought it would help, because we live in a really wooded area, with not a lot of light. Thank you for the suggestions though, I really appreciate it! [​IMG] I didn't think of the fast shut off of the light, that is a great point.
     

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