Unproductive Pekins!


Nov 26, 2015
Hi there.

I'm new here though have looked for answers on this site before! We have 4 Pekin Bantam girls. We got one as already laying, she must be almost a year old by now, and 3 at 6 or 8 weeks - can't really remember now - but they must be about 8 or 9 months by now. Our older girl, Lucinda, laid for a while and then went broody. This went on for a few weeks and then she went back to laying, and then went broody again, but this time for almost a month - and she hasn't laid anything since (that was back in the summer). Of the other 3, one laid one egg, small and perfect bless her - and that has been it! That was also back in the summer whilst Lucinda was on her 2nd broodiness spell. Two things really. Is this normal? I know Pekins are not known for great egg laying ability, but I did figure we would get some eggs. And also, when Lucinda is broody I worry about her! She lost a lot of weight the 2nd time. I would boot her out for a while each day and make sure she got food and water, but I don't think it an be good for her to sit in her nestbox for so long? They have a large coop and run which is very secure and kept very clean. They all look very healthy. They all moulted at the end of summer. They free range most days, or are locked out in a large run if we are out, through the day. They wouldn't eat layers pellets but I've bought some free range layers crumbs and they seem to eat some of them, together with corn. They love sunflower seeds and I normally give them some of these daily. They also get live mealworms regularly as a treat, and often things like blueberries. They completely ignore greens or the things they are supposed to love.... I sometimes give them live yogurt as a treat which they love.....Are we doing anything wrong?? Thanks - sorry that was long!


Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Nov 23, 2010
St. Louis, MO
They're poor layers of small eggs so you may be getting what you're going to get till spring and summer when they'll want to go broody again.
A molting bird won't lay eggs till completely recovered and by then, days are getting shorter so that is when most breeds stop laying or slow down.
A broody bird won't lay eggs. If they did, there would be a staggered hatch and the remaining embryos would die when the hen leaves to tend the live chicks.

When they start setting, and you don't have fertile eggs for them to hatch, it's important to break the broodiness right away. The tried and true method is to suspend them in a wire bottom cage so cool air can reach their underside. If they can sit on a solid surface, they'll keep their belly warm and stay broody.

As for feeding, since you're getting so few eggs, I would switch to a grower/finisher feed around 16-17% protein.
Layer feed is for more productive birds that need the 4% calcium to replenish that lost in the medullary bone used to build the egg shell.
Excess calcium, not used to build egg shells can overwhelm the kidneys.
You can provide oyster shell in a separate container so if any are laying, they can choose to eat it or not.
Chicken feed contains nutrition to meet all the needs of the birds at the age for which it is formulated. Corn is already the main ingredient. Adding more corn cuts the overall protein and can contribute to fat birds. Fat birds don't lay well.
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