Strike on Egg Laying

atief1253

Songster
6 Years
Mar 2, 2013
116
17
114
Our hens molted for 2 months, almost done. They never last this long. The problem is, we are luckly if we get five eggs a day. We have 15 hens and before August got 10 - 11 a day. There is no stress, different food, diet is the same, have calcium, etc., I have not found any hidden. Four are probably two years or over. The rest are about one and a half. Are we ever going to see eggs again? I don't like culling just to get more young ones. Suggestions?
 

Wynette

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Sep 25, 2007
25,574
237
421
Michigan
The shorter daylight hours are nature's way of urging them to take a well-needed break from laying. It's very hard on their bodies to lay eggs for an extended period, so they take this time to build up reserves so that they're ready to rock & roll in late winter/early spring. You can add artificial light to force continuous lay, but IMO, this is hard on their systems.

I pick up a handful of production layers every year at my local Family Farm & Home. These birds were bred to lay through winter, continuously. When they go through 2 full lay cycles, they are dispatched & eaten. Just a suggestion.
 

atief1253

Songster
6 Years
Mar 2, 2013
116
17
114
our coop light goes on early in the morning so they have light for 14 hours. Last year they just stopped for a few weeks and then were fantastic through the winter, they are australorps, orpingtons, buckeyes, good winter birds. If someone wanted to take our older non laying birds and enjoy them, I would give them to them. I just can't bring myself to kill them even though they are livestock and for that purpose. Too bad there isn't someone who wants them - think of all the good chicken they can eat.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
94,291
123,675
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
our coop light goes on early in the morning so they have light for 14 hours. Last year they just stopped for a few weeks and then were fantastic through the winter, they are australorps, orpingtons, buckeyes, good winter birds. If someone wanted to take our older non laying birds and enjoy them, I would give them to them. I just can't bring myself to kill them even though they are livestock and for that purpose. Too bad there isn't someone who wants them - think of all the good chicken they can eat.
How long have you had the light on?
It can take several weeks for it to take effect...
.....and they might just not be back online from their molt.
 

AnnieSantiago

Songster
6 Years
Aug 13, 2014
350
110
176
Portland, Oregon
So is it normal for them to stop laying this month?

My Kallie (BR) JUST began laying about 2.5 weeks ago.
She laid regularly, just skipping a day or two, until 5 days ago, when she QUIT laying.
Her comb is pale now and no eggs
hmm.png

I'm bummed.

How long until I can expect eggs again?

Also, how much preening per day is "normal?"

I've checked the birds and don't believe they have lice or mites.
But they sure preen a lot?
 

atief1253

Songster
6 Years
Mar 2, 2013
116
17
114
we keep it on year round so when it is dark, the light is on. So they have at least 14 hours a day every day.
 

atief1253

Songster
6 Years
Mar 2, 2013
116
17
114
Maybe you are right, others have said the same thing, that they just are taking longer to molt and are not done yet. Hope so, otherwise we probably will have to get rid of four or so hens over two years old. Hate doing that. Yes they are livestock, but they are sweet too.
 

ridemcowgirl

In the Brooder
5 Years
Oct 7, 2014
20
4
23
clarksville tn
All of my ladies stop laying when they molt in the fall and a few of them won't start laying again until the spring. It's perfectly normal. Get some nutrena nature wise feather fixer. It's a feed for molting and it helps protect against mites. We give it starting when they first start molting and continue to feed throughout winter because it is a high source of energy. It really helped them molt faster last year and a few of my girls that normally stop laying in winter, went back to laying once they molted. Also it gives them gorgeous feathers. You can go on nutrenas website and do a little research and see if you think that might help. If they still won't lay I would wait until spring before getting rid of your hens. 2 is way too young for them to stop laying. I've had hens lay until they died of old age. One mixed breed layed until she was 11. Very old chicken lol
 

atief1253

Songster
6 Years
Mar 2, 2013
116
17
114
Thanks! I'll check it. It's nice to know that two years is too young to stop laying because I like my little girls and am not the type of person that can cull them. This is the first year we've had this problem and I've from others besides you that they are probably molting so it's reassuring to know they all aren't sick. Thanks again.
 

ridemcowgirl

In the Brooder
5 Years
Oct 7, 2014
20
4
23
clarksville tn
Thanks!  I'll check it.  It's nice to know that two years is too young to stop laying because I like my little girls and am not the type of person that can cull them.  This is the first year we've had this problem and I've from others besides you that they are probably molting so it's reassuring to know they all aren't sick.  Thanks again.

You're welcome. Most chickens will molt in their second year and than every year after that. Now their egg production might start to slow down around 3 years old but the eggs will be larger. I've never had one completely stop laying before the age of 5 so your girls still have at least a few more years left in them. Who knows one might turn out to be the old hen that still gives you a few eggs a week
 

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