Possible laying issue?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CraftyLittleHen, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. CraftyLittleHen

    CraftyLittleHen Hatching

    Oct 13, 2014
    This year we are new chicken parents and we have 3 young hens (7 months old). They are a Rhode Island Red, Silver Laced Wyandotte and an Easter Egger. Up until about 3-4 weeks ago, all three hens were laying about 3-4 eggs per week. We noticed that the Easter Egger seems to lay a double yolk egg about every 4-5th egg she lays.... thats no big deal but she hasn't produced any at all in about 3 weeks or so.

    We live in Maine and it is getting colder and darker earlier and we expected a drop in production. The other two continue to give 2-3 each, every week but the EE just seems to have stopped. Is this normal?

    Thank you for any thoughts, suggestions or tips.
  2. SunkenRoadFarms

    SunkenRoadFarms Chirping

    Sep 11, 2014
    Same here. My EE was a pretty regular layer (5 - 6 eggs/wk) from August when she started until late October. With the shorter days I'm lucky if I get 3/wk. Totally normal.
    1 person likes this.
  3. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Songster

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    If you start providing additional light to extend their day to about 16 hours, she will likely start laying again.
    1 person likes this.
  4. DowntownWings

    DowntownWings In the Brooder

    Nov 25, 2014
    All but two of my 7 laying hens have stopped laying with the cold weather too, including my Americauna. We haven't resorted to supplemental light but it is a good option.
    1 person likes this.
  5. silkymom

    silkymom Songster

    Nov 20, 2009
    well i have 6 hens, its below freezing here now every night, i have a red heat lamp to keep the water from freezing but i only have one hen slowing down i get 6 eggs one day and 5 the next, its just how it goes unles ya force em, i only provide the light for the water, not to make more eggs, i like em to rest, good luck
    1 person likes this.
  6. Curlyginger

    Curlyginger Chirping

    Jun 14, 2014
    My EE seems to have stopped laying as well (I am in Mass.). My brown egg layers are still trucking along with the eggs, though.
    1 person likes this.
  7. CraftyLittleHen

    CraftyLittleHen Hatching

    Oct 13, 2014
    Thank you everyone... I feel like it's probably just normal for her then. i appreciate your thoughts and advice!!
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Sometimes first year layers will lay all winter without supplemental lighting, sometimes they won't.
    Older layers need 14-16 hours of light to lay regularly thru winter. Last winter I used a 40 watt incandescent light(this year I am using a CFL) that comes on early in the morning to provide 14-15 hours of light and they go to roost with the natural sundown. Last year I started the lighting increase a bit late(mid October), the light should be increased slowly, and the pullets didn't start laying until late December. Here's a pretty good article on supplemental lighting. Some folks think that using lighting shortens the years a hen will lay, I don't agree with that theory but I also plan to cull my older hens for soup at about 3 years old.

    BUT......It's little late to start supplementing light now, Solstice is a mere 12 days away!
    It takes time to ramp up the light hours without causing stress and more time for it to have an effect....best now to just wait for Mother Nature.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  9. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Songster

    Aug 10, 2013
    I increased my flock last year in preparation for the winter slowdown... The majority of my pullets started laying in July and 10 or so were set to start laying in November and December. I thought I had it covered, I have around 35 laying hens with 7 of those being over a year old, I expected the older ones to quit for the winter and molt, they didn't disappoint, but what I learned was even some of those that started laying in July molted early and quit laying. Out of the ones that were supposed to lay in Nov and Dec only 1 so far has.
    So out of around 35 laying hens I get between 10-14 eggs a day... Mind you, I wont complain, at least I get that many and am still able to sell eggs to help with feed cost and I know I could have added a light but I don't want to "force" them to lay when they normally slow down but never again will I think that getting a bunch to get us thru the winter months is an awesome idea lol..
    My grand plan was to get thru the winter and then sell some of the hens this spring... Sometimes the best laid plans...[​IMG]

    Something I did notice last year, my egg production picked up around winters solstice, right before Christmas I noticed a big change in my girls so I am waiting to see if it was just a hiccup or if it happens again this year.. I know my customers are eagerly anticipating the return of egg production.
    1 person likes this.
  10. CraftyLittleHen

    CraftyLittleHen Hatching

    Oct 13, 2014
    I'm not really sure how I feel about suplimental light. I suppose that if you plan to cull them at about 3 it really makes perfect sense. I imagine that just like most females, we are born with a predestined number of eggs and if they produce less in the winter, it only seems logical (to me) that they may lay eggs longer. We don't plan to cull ours at this point so keeping them till they just don't lay anymore I'd fine with me. I do think we will add one more bird next year. Not sure though.
    I so appreciate all the great advice and comments. You guys are great, thank you!

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