Stopped laying... Ugh

Murdy

Songster
Jun 28, 2020
174
196
118
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
My flock of 5 has slowed to a halt with laying. I've done a little reading and have some theories, and some questions.

First mention is that it's been quite hot here lately. I'm in Alberta, Canada, and our summers do get quite warm at times, but it's been up to 40degC lately. All of my birds are cold hardy, so not necessarily built for the heat. Is this the root cause?

Now... Issue (?) number 2. I used to feed a layer with a some seeds mixed in (whole oats, whole corn, black oil sunflower seeds, barley, scratch... Maybe another 1 or 2 that I'm missing?). I started to notice that the layer crumble was not getting eaten. I had seen a lady on the Web taking about how she just feeds a mix of seeds and she has success, so I switched. Any thoughts?

Also worth mentioning is that I used to put apples in there and they'd be gone in minutes. Now they pick at them a little, but hardly at all. I also put my lawn clippings on the run floor which they love.

I'll be doing a full flock inspection today for mites and such..... If I can catch them. Haha

Thanks all!
 

GrandmaDeKorte

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Mar 8, 2014
5,362
25,518
896
good morning, what I have found with my chickens is:
when it has been very hot I supplement them with electrolytes like, Rooster Booster. If they dont get enough water they will have laying problems.
2183456.jpg
Next, I found feeding Pellets is best for my hens. A pellet feeds a consistent ration of everything a hen needs, and there is no waist.

Then there is always the question of how old are your hens? They may be molting. When mine are I give them extra protein feed like a Grower 20%. It take a lot to grow new feathers.
 

Murdy

Songster
Jun 28, 2020
174
196
118
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
good morning, what I have found with my chickens is:
when it has been very hot I supplement them with electrolytes like, Rooster Booster. If they dont get enough water they will have laying problems.
View attachment 2756794
Next, I found feeding Pellets is best for my hens. A pellet feeds a consistent ration of everything a hen needs, and there is no waist.

Then there is always the question of how old are your hens? They may be molting. When mine are I give them extra protein feed like a Grower 20%. It take a lot to grow new feathers.
Sorry... I should have mentioned... I don't e any sign of molting, but this is my first year with them, so I'm not entirely sure of the signs yet.

And on that note... These girls all Hatched last May, so they're not old.
 

GrandmaDeKorte

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Mar 8, 2014
5,362
25,518
896
Sorry... I should have mentioned... I don't e any sign of molting, but this is my first year with them, so I'm not entirely sure of the signs yet.

And on that note... These girls all Hatched last May, so they're not old.
May 2020?
 

GrandmaDeKorte

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Mar 8, 2014
5,362
25,518
896
To be safe, I'll switch back to layer with some seeds for treats.

No oyster shell, but calcium in with their grit.
and the layer feed, does it have calcium?

When do chickens molt? This feather loss phenomenon first happens when birds are approximately 18 months old and then occurs annually. Backyard flock owners should expect about 8 weeks of feather loss and regrowth but could take up to 16 weeks for some birds.
 

HiEverybirdy

Songster
May 5, 2020
483
1,906
226
East TN
Some strains of winter-hardy breeds will take a lay break in heat, but I'd also be concerned if everybody stopped laying! And I think you're right to wonder about their nutrition if you're feeding mainly seeds <--unless I misread that.

Chicken feed has a balance of nutrients that humans have figured out chickens need. Many people, including me, may supplement feed with select ingredients and a small amount of treats, but unless you know how to make certain they're getting enough – and not too much – protein, methionine, calcium, phosphorous, niacin, riboflavin, choline, B, K, copper, manganese, lysine, zinc, etc. etc. etc., you'll want to make sure the bulk of their diet is chicken feed.

I'm with a lot of people on this board in that I feed an 18% all-flock or grower, with oyster shell and grown-up grit on the side. Many layer feeds have lower protein and amino acids than what I'm looking for with my active flock.

Of course, your issue really could just be the heat, or they could have a parasite problem, or, if they're about a year old, you may be seeing a summer molt, or even forcing a molt by accidentally feeding too little nutrients.

They can absolutely molt at a year old. We've had birds go into molt as young as 8 months, and I'm pretty sure some of ours from last May are thinking about a late summer molt right now...

If you want to add photos and share what breeds they are, that could help, too.
 

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