Please help; so frustrated!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Triplecross, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. Triplecross

    Triplecross Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2013
    Southern Michigan
    I have raised laying chickens for 8 years. Used to buy chicks from TSC and bought Dumor feeds. Never a problem with the chickens or their eggs.

    This year I 'upgraded' to rare purebred chickens, lol. Everything seemed the same as TSC chickens until recently. Many have stopped laying after only a few months!!
    I haven't changed feed, locations or anything. I know it's getting dark early but I have never put a light on my 1st year layers and they always lay right thru the winter.

    So my Lavender Ameraucana hen and Rumpless Araucana hen are 8 months old. They started laying at 5-6 months and I got 1-2 blue eggs a day.
    Now I haven't had a blue eggs in 6-8 weeks! I thought maybe they were laying in the woods next door so for 4 days so far I've kept them locked up so they will have to lay in the coop. No eggs!

    Are they just spent chickens at 8 months old? I've never seen spring chickens stop laying in September!

    What can be done?

    Thanks for any advice
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016
  2. Triplecross

    Triplecross Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2013
    Southern Michigan
    What is more weird is my spring chicks from last year are still laying strong right now; an Exchequer Leghorn and Large Cochin.

    My other 8 month old hens are also laying, Faverolles and New Hamps.
  3. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi. [​IMG]

    I have spring chicks that laid some and already quit as well. [​IMG]
    Your last years chicks, I would be surprised if they didn't molt and stop laying some time this winter. Some breeds are more sensitive to winter hours than others. My Lav Ams turned out to be boys, so they never started laying. My EE are very inconsistent. So aside from breed ther is also individual differences in the hens. I have 3 hatchery BR, hatched same day and location. They started laying at 20, 22, and 24 weeks. The one that laid at 24 weeks has stopped laying more than a month ago after only about a month of laying. [​IMG] And they were all born in Feb of this year... So what gives? [​IMG]

    Basically, I think what you are experiencing, while frustrating is quite normal. My advice, if you are using layer feed is switch to a flock raiser. The higher protein will help them grow and regrow feathers during molt. And the calcium in Layer is too much and could cause long term kidney damage in non layers which includes any who molt. Of course oyster shell still on the side. [​IMG]

    I feel your pain! [​IMG]
  4. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    It sounds like you are experiencing the difference between production breeds/hybrids compared to rare breeds which may not lay as consistently but will perhaps (hopefully) continue to lay for many years rather that burn themselves out. You may also experience further frustration with the rare breeds going broody more frequently.

    I do sympathise but the moral of the story may be that if egg production is important to you, then stick with hens bred for that purpose.
  5. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    I chose my rare breeds so they would live longer and I can breed for a long time to come for meat and eggs. Also I wanted some broodiness. But I have a hatchery BO that is brooding under my house right now.
  6. chickens really

    chickens really True BYC Addict

    Is it possible they are eating them as fast as they lay them? I know that Ameruacana and Araucana are known to start laying and then stop for a bit...Then start laying again...I do not think they are faulty Pullets...?

    Give them more time..

    Best of Luck..

  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I think Rebrascora has a valid point, the difference in production breeds and decorative breeds. I don’t know where you got them, but if they were from a breeder breeding for show, there is no reason to think they are also breeding for production. While breeds do have tendencies, strains of those breeds have stronger tendencies. Different flocks of any breed, like your Ameraucana, will have different production tendencies based on what traits the breeder is selecting for when choosing breeders.

    Some breeds are known to lay pretty well in cold weather, Black Australorp for example. Some are not. It’s pretty normal for many hens to shut down for the winter. You may have some of those.

    Each chicken is an individual. While breeds or flocks may have tendencies, you have to have enough for the averages to mean anything. You only have one of each, averages don’t really mean much for you.

    Those chickens are not “spent”. If they’ve shut down for the winter, which is my guess, you’ll get a pretty good laying season from them next year. How good I don’t know, but I’d expect it to be comparable to what you were getting on a daily basis and for a longer period of time. Whether that meets your goals or not is up to you.

    Good luck!
  8. Triplecross

    Triplecross Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2013
    Southern Michigan
    Thanks everyone for chiming in! I feel a little better and that I'm not going crazy now!

    I think I may try to find flock raiser food and see if that helps too!

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