Pullet on strike?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gmomfarms, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. gmomfarms

    gmomfarms Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2013
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    My flock are all about 8 months old. 1 BO roo, 2 BO pullets, 3 Red Star pullets, 1 RIR pullet, 1 SLW pullet, 1 unknown maybe Delaware pullet, and 1 Olive Egger pullet. My mid October, all 8 ladies were laying about 6 eggs per gal per week, except the Olive Egger and she would give me an egg one morning, an egg the next evening, then skip a day or two and start the process over. Around the first of November, she became an escape artist, and her egg production stopped. She wouldn't leave the other chickens still in the pen or root around in the compost right beside the pen and I figured she was hiding her eggs, but I couldn't find them. The pen is now more secure and she can't get out and has been for a couple of weeks, but still no green eggs. There is no evidence of egg eating, she doesn't act like she is egg bound, there is no illness in the flock, she just quit laying. Is this common with Olive Eggers to stop laying before they are a year old and to be so erratic when she did lay? Even with the shorter, colder days, I am still getting 6 to 8 eggs a day from the rest of the girls. She will find herself in freezer camp soon if that is the case.
     
  2. PrairieChickens

    PrairieChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some chickens just won't lay in the winter. The reduced daylight signals to their bodies that it's not a good time to lay, and they just stop releasing eggs. If you want to encourage them to lay, you can try putting a light on a timer in your coop--just be careful about fire hazards.
     
  3. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

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    I agree with all of the above. If you're going to add supplemental light, do it in the morning, not the evening, and add enough hours so they're getting about 14 hours of light per day.

    The other thing you can do to "warm them up" inside a bit, which will encourage them to lay, is top dress their feed with some cayenne pepper, just a thin line of it across the feeder. That may get her going again.
     
  4. gmomfarms

    gmomfarms Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2013
    SW Virginia
    Thanks for the input. I can't put heat or light in my coop and wouldn't. Of the 9 pullets, I am still getting 6 to 8 eggs a day, she will start again eventually. It hasn't gotten that cold here yet, except for a few nights and I do give them scratch in the late afternoon to warm them up and will give them warm oatmeal with supplements like raisens, molasses, and mealworms on cold mornings.
     
  5. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

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    Hmm. It may be that the scratch and the other things you are giving them to eat is reducing the protein percentage enough to affect laying. Not sure, but it's something to consider. Mealworms are very high in fat, and also in protein, but if you're not giving enough of them the other stuff may be swaying it too far the wrong way.

    I might cut back on the scratch and see what happens.
     

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