So completely fed up with my hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Cara, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. Cara

    Cara Songster

    Aug 30, 2007
    I haven't had an egg from my laying flock (approx 20 hens) since August. Either I have a chronic egg eating problem or they've given up laying. I've tried taking one hen out each day and putting it in a separate pen to figure out who's doing the eating, but no luck. I'm seriously thinking about giving them all away as they definitely won't lay once the days get shorter and they'll just cost money to feed through the winter. I think i'll just start from scratch with chicks so that they're old enough to lay by the spring, or maybe just switch to Khaki Campbell ducks. Has anyone else had this problem?

  2. bufforp89

    bufforp89 Songster

    Jul 26, 2009
    Chenango Forks NY
    How old are they? Do you provide light for them? Do they free range? I was getting like 2 eggs a day from my 11 girls and somtimes none and one day when I was out mowing the lawn I found a hidden nest with like 50 eggs in it.

    Khaki Campbells are great though [​IMG]
  3. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    A lot of my girls aren't laying now....and haven't for awhile. Just the way it seems to go this time of year. I get tired of feeding them too with no return. I know with some of my girls it's their age. They're getting a little older and I know they aren't going to lay like they used to. Some of them are young tho and don't have that excuse!!
  4. I too have had a S-L-O-W egg late summer/fall so far.
    The last 2 days I've only gotten 1 egg from 9 hens [​IMG]
    We had the mites, then the lice... now... I think they are all healthy but the days are getting so much shorter.. BUT they are still 12 hour days or so... I thought that should be enough.

    I don't know what's going on... driving me CRAZY though

    I have 2 blue hens who just came into lay... did great for about 5 weeks, then the cold frost night hit and they haven't laid one egg since!

    The only things I haven't tried is de-worming and adding artificial lights. I may try that now.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
  5. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Songster

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    Are you seeing a large amount of feathers all around or in their coop? They could be molting perhaps, which def. slows to stops egg production...
  6. Cara

    Cara Songster

    Aug 30, 2007
    They don't seem to be molting. The have a house and run and I have looked everywhere. I know some egg eating was going on as i'd find pieces of shell or go back and find eggs gone that were there earlier.

    The oldest ones will be three in March, the rest are one or two years old. I haven't provided any artificial light as they weren't laying when the days were longer. I had more eggs than I knew what to do with earlier in the summer, now I never get any.

    They're Buff Orpingtons, Marans and a few EEs.
  7. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Quote:I think their age probably has a lot to do with them taking a longer break.....especially the 2 and 3 year olds. I've always found that the older the hen, the longer the break they take from laying.

  8. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    Quote:I have the same problem with my ducks right now. There is no reason they're not laying, they're just...not. It's getting to that point where I can't justify spending all this money on feed and not getting any eggs.
  9. Cara

    Cara Songster

    Aug 30, 2007
    I think i'll give most of them away. I'm better off giving them away than having to feed them all winter.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
  10. Bookworm chick

    Bookworm chick Songster

    May 27, 2009
    Salem County, NJ
    Quote:Sounds to me like you definitely have an egg eater or two or more. Who knows, the habit could have spread to the entire flock:(
    If they're not free ranging, those eggs couldn't have walked away from the nest.
    That's a long time with no eggs from 20 hens!
    I only have 4 currently laying, but still get 10-12 a week. Two are pullets, one is just coming on 2 yr old and the last is coming on 3 yr. old. My 2 and 3 yr olds are actually the better layers. I'm hoping the young ones lay better next year. Otherwise, they're outta here.
    If it was me, they would be freezer bound and I'd start over in the spring.

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