Out with the old and in with the new?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickenmomma16, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. chickenmomma16

    chickenmomma16 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 16, 2012
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    How do you know when a hen has stopped laying? I have 14 hens that are roughly 6yrs old. Last summer I averaged 9-10 eggs a day. I have heard that unusually dark yellow feet can mean a hen has slowed down. Anyone else heard that? I have 3 that fit that description including the red sexlink in the pic. One hen I have been concerned about has not molted yet. All the others are finished looking beautiful again except her. Does that mean her system is off too? I would like to hatch some chicks out this spring and adjust my flock.
    Any suggestions?

    Here is a sample pic of my flock. Most of them are like the white hen in the corner which are Autsralorp x leghorn cross.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Look at their vents. The ones who have stopped laying should have smaller, more rounded shaped vents. The ones that may be still laying will have wide, larger vents.

    I recently thinned our flock using this technique and was successful at identifying the layers.

    There is also a technique of measuring the space between the bones down there but I haven't tried that.
     
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Pale combs is also a sign of lack of the laying hormones. However, if your hens are 6 years old, I would be thinking that they all will have very very decreased laying numbers. I have heard that the eggs are bigger, but most won't lay more than once a week.

    Mrs K
     
  4. chickenmomma16

    chickenmomma16 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought too that at their age they should be slowing way down but I was getting 12 eggs a day at their peak. I thought that was pretty good... They have never been put on lights in the winter so I was told, maybe that has something to do with it. Only a couple days I got 14, one from each so I know a few hens are not earning their keep. This was my first year with them, they all lay the same color/size eggs so I can't tell from that.
    I will say one thing though, they haven't been laying at all for the last month and only one hen has been the last few months and only a few were laying the couple months before that.... I know they take a break in winter but it sure seems like a long one!
     
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    well they really drop when they molt. However, I am surprised that they are laying anywhere close to that at 6 years old? I think I would put a roo on those girls, and hatch some of those genetics!
     
  6. chickenmomma16

    chickenmomma16 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 16, 2012
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    I do have a roo with them and that is my goal as some go broody and start laying again. I'm crossing them with the roo in the picture (Blue Am. x EE) to hopfully get a more colorful egg basket and good layers. :) I know they are at the most 6 years old because I remember when my aunt first got them.
     

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