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(update)!!!CALLING ALL THE CHICKEN EXPERTS

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by annrich, Oct 13, 2007.

  1. annrich

    annrich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2007
    Western NY
    Hi all! Ok so I live in the north east, I know the day light, and moulting slows down egg laying. But I have not had any eggs in 3 weeks. I did the light thing, The girls don't look like they are moulting but what do I know. My hubby and I went out yesterday to get the coops more ready for the colder temps. We found a freakin rat under the floor and in a wall. So we now have to deal with this problem. Im sure they are stressed. I am beyond stress. I know why I am going threw so much feed now. I love all of our chickens but am sooooooooooooo frustrated.

    I am almost ready to surrender. I need advice.

    Thanks

    (oh the light is on from 6am to 9pm)
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2007
  2. Chatychick

    Chatychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2007
    Blue Mound, Kansas
    Question? Do they free range or are they kept in the coop? I know mine free range and sometimes I have to go on a easter egg hunt sometimes. Mine stopped laying for a bit and I found the eggs and then closed them in a few days so they knew where to be laying again as a cat got in the coop before this and they decided that wasnt to safe for them...the cat is gone now and they have gotten back to laying in the coop. Also rats do steal eggs if they can eat it and then the hens will eat the shell.
     
  3. annrich

    annrich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2007
    Western NY
    They only free range when we are with them. They have a good size run they like.

    If the rats are stealing my eggs. ohhhhhh I will freak out.
     
  4. bantymum

    bantymum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ok, you may have to get rid of the rat asap.
    Use poison bait stuck in the cavity where no other animals can get in.
    I let my cat into the night coop last night and locked him in so they would all be safe from foxes etc and let him out later.
    I found a headless rat on my back step. do you have a rat cat?
    Dont let a humble little rat spoil your fun.
    The rats can take eggs too, so maybe your girls arent stressed but just lose their eggs to the rats.
    Autumn moult doesnt always mean they will lose feathers, sometimes they just have a rest too!
    Good luck and never give in!
     
  5. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Jan 30, 2007
    WV
    Really I think its just the time of year when hens slow down for awhile before winter sets in...they can be molting and you just see a feather or two...some molt hard this time of year like mine, which looks like a pillow fight or they sneezed!...I'm only getting 2 or 3 eggs a day out of 20 hens!...my older hens are 3 and 4 now, waiting on the new gals to start...

    Things like their age and what kind of chickens they are sometimes adds in too...feed them some extra protien like cat food once or so a week ...canned or dry....just throw it out in the run.....

    And its time for mice and rats to look for places for winter and a henhouse sure is a good restaurant feeding ground with lots of feed!...we keep d-con under the henhouse...where the chickens can't get to it...maybe you have a place like that you can put some or try traps...

    Don't give up its just a part of having chickens...
     
  6. Chatychick

    Chatychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2007
    Blue Mound, Kansas
    I would buy the kind of poison that dont have a secondary killer to it ...I have found it thru www.jefferssupply.com and thru www.caprinesupply.com it does cost a little more but if by chance the mouse or rat is dying sometimes the chickens will try to eat it ...this way it wont kill your chickens or cat in the process... I put a mixture of quick-crete and sugar out where the chickens cant get to it and the mice eat it and then drink water and die...you just have to put it where they cant get to it...put it in a can with hole that only mice or rats can get in not chickens... just a thought
     
  7. annrich

    annrich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2007
    Western NY
    Ok Thanks everyone. I am off to the store to kill these S.O.B. rats. I will try this. I hope they lay soon. I have 6 RIR's, 2 BO's, 2 bantys. And 2 Jersey's Well those are my hens.
    Keep sending all the advice yous got. I am doing it all.

    Thanks again. I will be back after I fill under the coop with decon.

    Oh by the way. Our barn cat is useless. That thing couldn't catch a cold
     
  8. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Jan 30, 2007
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    Just make sure you keep your d-con or any other rat poison back far enough the hens can't get to it.....I've never had a problem, mine can't get under the henhouse ......Check every day two or three times if you can for any dead mice or rats so the hens won't have time to peck!....

    Your hen breeds sound like they should still be good layers...I have buff orps and RIRs in my flock and they do tend to quit sometimes in the fall....
     
  9. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    I can't answer about the molting or cold weather effect on egg laying because I have not experienced either yet and probably never will experience the cold weather. BUT...while I haven't experienced rats I do know where there is one there are others. And I've heard enough stories about how they eat and steal the eggs (as will snakes). One story said the owner put a glass egg in the nest box and later found it in the yard where the rat had stolen it, taken it to it's nest/hole and then pushed it out of the hole when it realized it couldn't eat it. If you can track where those rats are nesting I'd bet you could find where your eggs went. No eggs in three weeks sounds like the rats were well fed - I'm betting the one you found was nice and fat.
     
  10. annrich

    annrich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2007
    Western NY
    Quote:I ran to fast to see how fat it was. My husband stayed out there. I put some Decon under the coop. cross your fingers
     

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