What to do with my not Laying marans

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by questions543, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. questions543

    questions543 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So one of my marans who's coming up on two years went through a traumatic experience an then went into molt and stopped laying (understandably) but it's now been 6 months since after her molt and still NO eggs [​IMG]. I'm going to be giving away half my flock to another family and I was wondering if a cull would be acceptable.. Am I doing something wrong?
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    You certainly can do anything with your flock you want. No need to ask permission here. People cull all the time for non-laying free-loaders.

    But why not try a few things first to see if you can get them to start laying. Just last week, I decided to try red hot pepper flakes to see if it might jump start four of my seven-month old pullets who should have begun to lay by now. Coincidence or not, that very day I introduced the pepper flakes to the flock, one older girl and one pullet began to lay. Since, two more pullets began to lay.

    You might also try some extra light on the morning end of the day. Set a timer for a light to come on two hours before sunrise. If that's the problem, you should see eggs in a week or two.

    You could also increase the calcium content of what they're eating. Switch to a higher grade layer feed or give them yogurt, spinach, or cabbage or other things high in calcium.

    Or maybe you've already tried all these things. Then I suppose it's time for drastic measures, like eating the lazy little twerps.
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Was the trauma a predator attack?
    Trauma followed by molt would make 6 months without eggs not unrealistic.
    I wouldn't cull nor give them away. Days are getting longer. If they're healthy, they'll start laying again in the next month or so depending on your latitude.
    You'll be giving them away to someone that will benefit from all of your winter feeding just when they kick in with their flurry of spring/summer laying.

    If one culls their birds when they do their annual rest, they'll have to get new birds every 18 months or so when those same birds can be productive for 4-6 years minimum.
    A bird that lays 300 eggs their first year, will lay 250 the following year and drop by about 20 or so a year after that.
    One has to decide how much feed for # of eggs they can stand.

    You could be doing something wrong though. If you have been feeding layer feed all this time without producing hens, you could have unwittingly created kidney problems which when extended can create laying problems.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Agreed on the first point.

    Probably coincidence since ovulation would already have happened by the time you gave the chili flakes if you got eggs the same day.
    I imagine it's the fact that days are over an hour longer now than they were at the winter solstice. All of my malingering flocks are just beginning to lay now.

    Increasing calcium is the worst thing to do for non-layers. Layer feed doesn't stimulate laying. Light and protein do. Additional calcium, like the 4% in layer feed is only to replace that in the medullary bone used to form the egg shell. That calcium isn't needed and harmful until ovulation occurs and the egg enters the shell gland.

    The 1% calcium in a grower/finisher feed is more than enough for a bird not actively laying eggs. So if they've been on layer feed, they've been getting an overload for the last 6 months.

    I've only had 4-7 of my 30+ layers producing every day this winter. I also have younger birds and roosters running with them. I've been feeding grower feed to the whole flock since molt started in the fall. Each group also has oyster shell in a separate container so those laying can choose it. I've had no negative effect on egg shells.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Good to know!
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    You could do either. IMO this is a bad time of year to cull for not producing, you've already fed the bird through most of the winter and it's only 1-2 months until they'll start laying again, with the longer days. But it's totally up to you and your management plan.
     

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