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UPDATE! 18 hens - ZERO eggs for 3 weeks...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mudhen, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

    Jan 15, 2007
    Shepherdstown, WV
    Of the 18, one is over 3yrs old, but all the others are a year and a half.
    They all went through a molt in August and returned to egglaying for a few weeks, though maybe not as much as before the molt.

    Throughout this past 7 months, they'd put out 12-16 eggs a day, during molting it averaged about 4-6, and then that picked up to around 8-9 eggs a day.
    Then, about 16 days ago, zero eggs [​IMG]
    Same feed, same treats, same everything. Nothing is different or changed. They all look great, poop great [​IMG], eat great, drink great. No injuries on anyone, each girl is bright eyed and just as bouncy as ever.
    Last week, I found 1 egg on the floor of the coop.
    No predators, no snakes. The occasional mouse, yes, but they hover near the feed bins.

    They have grit and oyster shell. I've increased the protein in their diet the past four days with some cat food or garbanzos (cooked/can) or kidney beans (cooked/can) added to their daily treat of red leaf lettuce and grapes or apples. Their feed is the layer pellet that is supplemented with cracked corn, oats, wheat, black sunflower seeds, golden flax, omega rice bran, garlic, and brewers yeast. (Below is my mix formula -Please know that 1)I'm not sure what I'm doing, most of this info has come from reading several thoughts, theories and weighing out the plusses and minuses of each of the items listed. 2)I want to provide a high omega3 diet to decrease cholesterol content in the eggs. 3)Granulated garlic is used to reduce smell in coop. And no, the eggs don't smell or taste funny. )

    100# Layer Mash:Scratch mix =

    50# Layer Pellets or Mash
    .75# cracked corn
    .25# whole oats
    .50# soft shell wheat
    .50# rice bran
    1# sunflower
    1# millet mix
    .50# flax
    .25# granulated garlic
    .25# brewer's yeast

    Like I said, they are eating just a well as ever, and the blend of feed has not changed either (other than to add a little protein these past days).

    They've been 'on strike' before once sometime in early Spring, but it only lasted a day or two. The temperatures are beginning to drop, but it's pleasant during the day, and they have a heat lamp (set to go on when temp drops below 55 degrees). It's only had to go on a couple of nights this week, but the egg production ceased long before.

    Suggestions? Ideas? Advice? [​IMG]

    [​IMG]"Help! I need someone...Help!"---The Beatles
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2008
  2. omelette'smom

    omelette'smom Songster

    Sep 9, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I also had 1-2 eggs for a few days but hubby spotted a nest hiding with 9 eggs!! my 15 girls free range and the most i ever get is 7 in a day so they're not faithful to the nest boxes! are yours free range?
  3. krcote

    krcote Songster

    May 21, 2008
    Concord, NH
    Mudhen, I am in the same boat. The only answers I gotten are "WAIT!" Lame, lame, lame.
  4. whatsup chickenbutt

    whatsup chickenbutt Songster

    Sep 9, 2008
    what about the light? its light that affects egglaying not temperature right?
  5. texaschickmama

    texaschickmama Songster

    Sep 19, 2007
    Poolville, TX
    Are they getting enough light? I think 12 hrs of light is preferred, I could be wrong.

    Do you have something getting these eggs like a very busy snake or something like that?
  6. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I have no idea except to ask... do they free range? Is it possible that they are all hiding their eggs in some outdoor places?
  7. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

    Jan 15, 2007
    Shepherdstown, WV
    That's just it, they don't free-range, and I have checked every nook and cranny in their coop and the run for a secret nest.
    I even looked under the shavings in case they figured out a way to hide the eggs from me [​IMG]
    I'll keep waiting, and wondering what is up. I've always thought they each would take a break from laying for a few days here and there, after all, their little bodies need to recoup.
    But all of them at the same time? And for almost three weeks, it just seems like something is up.

    As far as light goes, I know the days are shortening, but there is a nightlight in there as always, and it is still working. Maybe that's not enough? Does everyone keep a regular light on for 12 hours in the winter time?

    (I keep checking, but no snakes or evidence of any kind of predators. Unless a mouse has set up a way to funnel the eggs away to a secret mouse supermarket for his friends.... [​IMG])
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Edited to add that the coop has three windows, so there is natural light in there too...
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2008
  8. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Well, if they don't free range then my guess is either a predator or your own chickens are eating their eggs.
  9. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Quote:I agree. Rats and snakes love warm food in cold weather.
  10. Colored Egg Farmer

    Colored Egg Farmer Chicken overload

    the night light is that just one of thoes small bulbs? If it is that is probably not enough for them. I use 40 watts to keep my chickens laying during the winter.

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