What can I do to promote egg production with one-and-a-half-year-old hens who have stopped laying?

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hysop

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Back in July-August I placed two hens with a new rooster. One is a Red Sex Link and the other a Black Jersey Giant. They were both bought at TSC in March of 2018 so they’re not that old. Their buddies who came from the same batch, same two breeds, are still laying eggs, not daily though.

Since I moved them they have stopped laying eggs. They laid two each but were small when I first moved them. At the time there were two roosters with them. One nice, one mean. I have moved the mean one and it’s been three weeks since. I moved them to a new coop and run that’s clean and more spacious. It’s been two weeks since that.

They have yet to lay eggs! I don’t mind being patient with them but now it’s been close to three months of no eggs. I am not attached to them so I have no problem culling them. I just want to give them a fighting chance first.

What can I do to promote egg production? I’m not even asking for an egg a day! I’d be happy with 3-4 a week! But any less than that I can’t justify keeping them. I have 10 other hens that get fed the same as them and they lay just fine. Although they do free range and these don’t.

I have tried baking egg shells and crushing them real tiny and feeding it to them. I give em tons of treats so they are shown they’re loved. Is one rooster for two hens still too stressful for them or something?
 

Wyorp Rock

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Have you checked them out to see if they are molting? That may be what's going on - this time of year a lot of hens are beginning to molt. Usually they stop laying eggs during molt.
Days are getting a little shorter as well, so they may be getting ready to molt.

Another reason to stop laying eggs is change - you have changed their routine, flockmates and housing...if change is what brought this on, then you will just have to be patient. One rooster might be too stressful, it really depends on how he treats them, how they react to him, space, etc. How do they behave with the rooster and how does he behave toward them?

Tons of treats are also not good. They need to be eating their normal feed (layer?) for the most part - too many treats dilutes the protein and nutritional content they get daily. They need nutrition to form eggs properly.

If production is what you want (your goal), then it would be a good idea to get chicks every spring, this way you have fall/winter production. Cull/eat, etc. the ones that are going into molt in the fall - or at least that's what some people do.
 

hysop

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Thank you! I’ll be patient. It probably was all that change. They used to have two roosters, not intentionally but one kept getting in and he was mean. He’s already isolated ready for the chopping block.

Yeah I understand the winter months they don’t produce as much and it’s starting to get cooler and sun is starting to go down sooner. Hmm I don’t mind if they slow down in the winter and pick it back up in the spring and summer. I just don’t like zero egg production.

They might have been molting before, but they seem to have stopped or at least I haven’t seen any feathers in their new area. But there were a lot in their old area.

By treats I mean like once a day a banana my kids didn’t finish or some apple peels. And yes, they’re on layer feed.

Just wanted to make sure it was normal and if there is still hope they’ll begin laying one day preferably within the next couple weeks. Even if it’s one to give me some peace that they are still layers haha. Thanks again!
 

aart

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Why did you move them?
Are you hoping to hatch eggs from these particular birds?

They were both bought at TSC in March of 2018 so they’re not that old.
18 months old...they'll be molting soon and not laying due to stress of move and shortening days(if yo live in the northern hemisphere).

Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
upload_2019-9-22_8-17-50.png
 

hysop

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Thanks I’ll update that as soon as I get near a computer.

I moved them because their old run area was getting dirty and the grass wasn’t growing. I like them to have a run with grass not dirt. Or at least not 80% dirt which is what their old run was.

I live in southwest Georgia.

No I don’t plan on hatching eggs from either of those two hens. They will be strictly food eggs.
 

hysop

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They had stopped laying due to the stress. They laid one egg each one time and then never again.

I’m not sure if they just didn’t like him as a rooster and were loyal to their first rooster but once I let them free they ran back to their old rooster even though they had been with my Production Red rooster for 2+ months. Once they went back to their old rooster they began laying, but all in vain because shortly after winter came and they began molting.

At the time that I made this thread I was also a “newbie” and was probably not feeding them the appropriate amount for laying hens that weren’t free ranging so that could have also contributed to not laying

Update on those hens, one ended up getting ran over accidentally 😢 and the other is still alive and well and laying.

Their old rooster ended up getting culled and the entire flock got given to my Production Red rooster again, the flock wasn’t a fan, but they’re laying, so that’s a plus. This winter my PR roo will get his own new flock and not a hand me down.

Just updating my old threads and closing them in case anyone comes across them and the updates help.
 
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