Red Stars: Are they broody, or are they done laying for life?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by fch, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. fch

    fch Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 29, 2009
    My question is "are they broody, or are they done laying for life?", but here's the long-winded set-up:

    We've got two 2-yr-old Red Stars (we live in the city). They have been great layers -- layed through their first winter, last winter they moulted and slowed down for a bit. We were gone for 6 weeks this summer (during the heat wave here in the Midwest), and while we were gone, they both stopped laying. One of them clearly was getting broody, and the other one has always been a copycat, doing whatever her sister does (although she isn't acting broody, just not laying). The person caring for them made sure they had a fan keeping the garage cool and had plenty of water and food, and when we came back they both were healthy-looking.

    I started shooing them both out of the nesting box, to try to break the broody-ness, and it hasn't been hard at all. In fact, they both love wandering the yard for hours on end, even the "broody" one (whose clucks, BTW, are sounding different than they used to).

    I was talking with a vendor at the farmers market this weekend, telling him that we'll probably be buying eggs for a while since one of our girls was broody. But then he said, "Red Stars?...oh oh." According to him, because Red Stars are such consistent layers, they run out of eggs sooner than other chickens, and when they're done -- they're done. Yikes!

    Could this be happening? To my 2-yr-old hens? I had expected the laying to drop off some, but i was under the impression that they's be producing *some* eggs for more than 2 years.

    These girls are going to live on no matter what (they're actually my daughter's pets), but if they are done, we'd need to consider adding to our "flock".

  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    I wouldn't say they are done for life, but their production will probably go down quite a bit. Now would be a good time to add to your flock if you can.

    There's so many reasons a hen can quit laying. If she's truly broody (on the nest all day and at night), you can let her hatch out your additions to your flock by finding some fertile eggs to give her. Then you don't need to deal with integrating them.

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