the other day I was trawling for ideas on how to get my BA's to start laying again. they are just coming up 1 year old and only started when they were 9 months but both had stopped for several weeks and one also went broody for a couple of weeks. I found the thread on feeding black pepper. Some of you use a LOT of pepper.. I can only assume it is a lot cheaper in the USA than it is here in NZ! but anyway, some time ago i had purchased a large bag of gourmet peppercorns because i thought they would look pretty in my grinder and taste good, they are black, red and brown and greeny ones. but alas they tasted yuk, so I went back to plain black for the table. Now, I thought, I have a use for them, so I whizzed a few tablespoonsful up in the processor and added it to my chooks pellets on friday morning. They were decidedly unimpressed and didn't eat much, although they did eat some, I gave them clean water and expected them to drink heaps, they didn't. I got one egg from each RIR that day and one pekin egg. No australorps. But today there were no eggs all day, the RIRs had obviously decided to take a sabbath rest today. I checked in the evening when letting them out for a range around the garden and there was a speckledy one I'm sure was an australorp egg. Then later when they had all gone to bed there was another speckledy one in the nest! So both of the naughty non-layers started again the evening after being fed the pepper! now just to get my recently broody bantams to get going again!