Question about hens who stopped laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by karri25, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. karri25

    karri25 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 5, 2007
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    Ok, here is what all has gone on:
    -They saw a turkey get killed Sunday
    -We ran out of feed Saturday. We fed a TON of scraps and got more feed later in the day.
    -We had to auction 3 off for 4-h Monday.

    Now here are the symptoms:
    -We use to get 12-13 eggs per day.
    -On Sunday we got 5
    -Monday we got 8
    -Tuesday we got 7
    -Today we have had 4 so far.

    Is this normal due to the time of year? Did they get stunned becuase of the turkey? Is it becuase they were short on feed Saturday? I know that we are going to have 3 eggs less per day because we had to give up 3 of our hens but this is really different and I don't like it. Any advise would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Could be they are moulting? Mine slowed WAY down .... but are starting to pick back up now!
     
  3. karri25

    karri25 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When do they molt and what are the signs?
    How long did it tak ebefore they got back into the swing of things? My son sells the eggs to make money. This is his first attempt at working. He is REALLY worried!
    Thanks!
     
  4. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    The molt can take up to 8 weeks no problem. Along with this remember hens need 14 hours of light to keep the normal lay going, you do the math for your area of the country.

    The molt is natures way to give the pretty hens a rest. It is stressful to lay all those eggs, so I feel the rest is well deserved.

    Backyard flocks are superior to any commercial flock, cause we treat our pretty hens with respect, and that's the truth!

    bigzio
     
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    If you see feathers everywhere and your birds have pin feathers on them, that is a good sign of moulting. Hopefully you didn't auction off your 3 good layers and it is possible the rest are a bit shocked too from the turkey death. Half a day without feed won't hurt them if they got other stuff to nibble on. You could have auctioned off some of the top pecking order too so that could have disrupted their whole social order and they are in a panic you can't see.

    Hopefully they pick up in a few days. I would warn your son that chickens don't lay much in the winter... my flock of 16 one cold winter gave only 2-3 eggs a day... and by bad winter, I mean one week of snow and one week of freezing temps total.
     
  6. karri25

    karri25 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh no!!!! He is going to be pretty bummed if we only sell one dozen every three weeks:-(
    I haven't seen any feathers flying around. well no more than normal.
    I was afraid that we auctioned the three best but he so wanted to win Grand Champion. He didn't get that high up but he did win a blue ribbon:) So to him it was worth it. Meanwhile I cried for an hour:-(
    Oh well, I am hoping that the get back into the swing of things. Is it cruel to add a light to our house?
     
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    It wouldn't be cruel to supplement day light but I do believe that there have been studies that shown hens with supplemented light have a higher tendency for cancers. I would imagine not letting them have a break would also shorten their productive life span... if you really want a constant supply of eggs, you'll have to add to your flock and replace old birds too every two or so years... since that is their prime laying time.
     
  8. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    Extending the daylight hours for laying hens does add stress to the birds. While I don't think it is cruel, I also know that they won't start out next spring with the vigor that rested hens have. Shorter days is natures way of providing the rest they need.

    bigzio
     
  9. karri25

    karri25 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I guess I'll leave the decision up to the young business man himself. It is harder for me with our original hens as I have a soft soft for them above all others! Thank you so much for the information and the food for thought!
    I really appreciate it!
     

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