"Production Hens" not producing

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Dr.Doorlock, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. Dr.Doorlock

    Dr.Doorlock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 21, 2008
    Garland, Texas
    This is my first year and I'm still learning. I was enjoying 5 to 7 eggs per day and all of a sudden the production dropped to one or two a day. I cut out the watermelon treats and even eliminated the hens scratch feed. I added a light at night to keep them up a couple of hours. I added vitamins to their water.

    What else can I do?

    Should I turn on the light at 4 AM?

    The strange thing is, all 7 layed an eggs the day after I processed an old hen.

    Please help, my wife is ready to process them all.
     
  2. Karrie13

    Karrie13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2009
    Minnesota
    Could they be molting?
     
  3. Dr.Doorlock

    Dr.Doorlock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 21, 2008
    Garland, Texas
    Yes, they are loosing some feathers, but I thought they wouldn't molt for two years. How long does the molting last?
     
  4. Karrie13

    Karrie13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2009
    Minnesota
    How old are your girls? Typically they don't go through their first adult molt until they are about 18 months old but they also molt several times as they are growing into adulthood. I believe the length of time a bird molts will vary for each bird, some are supper fast and others may take the normal time of 2 to 4 months.
     
  5. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    It could be a slow moult- mine are coming out of their now. I gave mine extra light from 5 am -8 am. Adding some wild bird suet or flock block will help them in feathercoat development- this is a normal time of year for moulting and you may note an increased intake in feed, too. Mine are production reds, hatched May 15, 2008.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2009
  6. wjallen05

    wjallen05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 8, 2008
    North Georgia
    I have Rhode Island Reds, Leghorns, and some others that are 9 months old and half of them haven't even starting laying yet!!!!! And the ones that have started, STOPPED for about a month, then started again a couple weeks ago, and have stopped again. SOOO frustrating!!
     
  7. Dr.Doorlock

    Dr.Doorlock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 21, 2008
    Garland, Texas
    I plan to get a timer for their light. I just hate to get up that early. My hens are all about a year old, and there are just a few feathers lost, so I'm just not sure they are moulting yet. Since I'm in this for the eggs, I will add the hen scratch to their diet and continue with the vitamins in their water. I also cut back on the calcium because their eggs were so solid you could drop them ten inches from the counter and they wouldn't break.

    I think the best cure for the reduced eggs due to moulting is to have hens of a different age. This would envolve culling and buying more chicks. I just hate feeding them for 0 weeks before they lay.

    Is moulting seasonal?

    Any other suggestions?
     
  8. NotTheMomma

    NotTheMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Was the old hen in with the flock that isn't laying now? Sometimes stress can cause them to quit laying. If the old hen was the boss hen, that might be the problem.
     
  9. cybercat

    cybercat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 22, 2007
    Greeneville, Tn
    Up your protien to 18 or 20%. That will kick start them again. If you can not find layer at that level try some dry cat food as a add in to their layer feed now.
     

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