The great enduring mystery.... WHY CANT I GET EGGS???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by warmfuzzies, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. warmfuzzies

    warmfuzzies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boondocks, Colorado
    am getting so frusterated, and DH is ready to sell all the hens. I have 4 hens from last year, they are about 18 months old. I also have about 15 pullets that are over eight months old. I have not got an egg for a month. At least.

    The hens were giving me 1-2 a day up untill a month or so ago, and I had 6 hens then. (One day I got 8 eggs, so I KNOW the pullets layed some.) They stopped laying, and I assumed the hens were molting.

    Then two hens just up and died one day, I had no idea why. When I picked them up they were crawling with mites. So I treated everyone, and I am getting ready to do it the second time. (it has been about 14 days) NONE of them ever looked sickly at all, and they are very active.

    We still haven't got even one egg since I treated them. Shouldnt they have layed at least a few by now? They are getting as much food as they will eat. They seem extremely healthy.

    The weirdest thing it, we just got a trio of ducks, and I got one egg a day from them for the first three days we had them, then nothing. I have had them for a little over a week.

    I can think of one other cause. I have an egg eating dog, but I have NEVER seen him in the pen since we built it. (they were totally free range for awhile, and I would catch him eating eggs sometimes then) I would think if he was getting in there enough to eat EVERY egg, I would catch him sometimes. I am in and out all day.

    So I dont know if they are laying, and something is eating them, or if they are not laying at all. I know I should check their vents for color, and I will get back to you later with that.

    Any ideas?? HELP PLEASE!! I dont want to sell them all!
  2. Renee'

    Renee' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2009
    Yucaipa, CA
    The mites drain their system and it will take a while for them to recover. Give the new girls a while to adjust to their new home and they will begin laying again. Hang in there. [​IMG]
  3. zatsdeb

    zatsdeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2007
    Lincoln, Illinois
    stress can make them stop laying, once they get all better from the mites and the dog eating the eggs, also could something be getting into the coop and eating the eggs before you get to them besides the dog? we had a possum that was eating the eggs if we didn't get to them right after they layed them.
    also the change in the seasons can make them stop laying, here in illinois it is hot, then cold... getting into winter, we have about 30 laying hens and are lucky to get 10 eggs in a day, other days maybe 2 or 3.
  4. warmfuzzies

    warmfuzzies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boondocks, Colorado
    Thanks guys. [​IMG] I just went and checked one of the hens and a RIR pullet. The hen's vent was wide and soft, but her abdomen area was not soft and her bones were close together. It was also very yellow.

    The pullet was pale, but her vent was small and tight.

    I think they aren't laying at all yet. And yes, our weather has been hot-cold. Last week we had two days of ice storms and yesterday it was 90 deg.

    I think I will set an animal trap just to check though. There are never any shells, do opossems leave the shells or take the whole egg?
  5. zatsdeb

    zatsdeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2007
    Lincoln, Illinois
    Quote:possums usually leave the shells, dogs will take the egg, skunks also will eat eggs, coon too! Yikes.... so many egg eaters!!!!
  6. ColoradoMike

    ColoradoMike Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 12, 2009
    Northern Colorado
    Are you feeding them a well balanced layer diet?
  7. warmfuzzies

    warmfuzzies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boondocks, Colorado
    OK I am bringing this up again. [​IMG] I am feeding layer mash and then as much scratch as they will eat. I feed layer mash on top of the scratch so they have to eat the good stuff before dessert. [​IMG] How much should around 20 chickens be eating? I try to give them as much as they will eat, but I am not sure they need that much.

    I have finally started getting one egg every few days, and I have noticed at least one of my most raggedy hens is really getting a lot of new feathers, so at least a few of them are still molting.

    My new question is, how much should I give them? We give them all our scraps, and I free range them several times a week. We still have bugs and green plants here.
  8. Orphy

    Orphy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 30, 2009
    Magnolia, TX
    I would give a good check around and through the coop, in all of the bedding and nesting material too. I had a snake that was getting into my coop and would eat the eggs as they were laid. Didn't touch the chickens would just eat the eggs whole. I found out by putting some of the fake eggs in the nesting box and would count them each day to see if any where missing. And sure enough they were gone.

    Then I had my hubby do guard duty and not leave the coop until he brought me a corpse lol.
  9. liberty

    liberty Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 13, 2009
    It could be that they are eating the eggs. They leave no evidence. I had that problem and I would not have believed it had I not seen it with my own eyes - THE HORROR!
  10. goddesses

    goddesses Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 3, 2008
    I have 3 - 7+month old auracanas. No eggs - I've checked all their favorite places. We have two dogs that cannot get into the coop but can get close enough to snatch any intruders. I checked the bones near the vent and they are still very close together, so I'm pretty sure they havent started to lay. We added a light to the coop so they are getting 14 hours a day as we'd like them to start before winter.

    They are free range and we supplement with organic layer feed and corn. Do they simply take longer to mature?

    Last edited: Nov 2, 2009

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