What would you do? Possible culling...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by PaulaJoAnne, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. PaulaJoAnne

    PaulaJoAnne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2009
    We have a number of Cuckoo Marans that are not laying. We knew they were a bit older when we got them, but could not get a clear idea of how old.
    They laid for a few days after getting them, and now nothing. Its been over two months now.
    They are recieving a much better ration then they ever have, plus lots of free ranging stuff.
    They are not molting at all, so I know that is not what is going on.
    They do look like they might be on the older side, but as most of you know, aging a full grown chicken is nearly impossible:D

    So, at this point, we are just waisting money on them. Would culling them be a good idea?
    Should we just do one, and check to see what her egg stores are looking like?
     
  2. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Sep 25, 2007
    Michigan
    This time of year, chickens often do stop laying. It's nature's way of giving them a bit of break, to prepare for spring laying again. This is why lots of folks sell layers in the fall.

    They need at least 13 hrs. of daylight for laying; some folks use artificial light to supplement daylight; you'll get varying opinions on it, I do not use it for reasons stated above. But, many folks do add light to the coop for several hours a day to get them to lay all year long.
     
  3. austinhart123

    austinhart123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2008
    Los Angeles CA
    i would wait, my hens have all stopped laying for the fall and will pick up again mid winter, maybe your hens are hiding the eggs since you free range, maybe try keeping them in a day or two and see if they lay in the coop, and if you dont want them sell them dont cull... atleast if you sell them you make some money back and give them an opportunity to have a good life
     
  4. Chicks_N_Horses

    Chicks_N_Horses Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2009
    South Alabama
    Sometimes hens will stop laying for various reasons. It doesn't mean they won't start back at some point.

    Now, if it were me and they went a few months without laying an egg then I would eat them. On my farm, every animal has to earn their keep and if a hen isn't doing her job then she gets another job.....to fill up the soup pot...and I prefer to eat hens over roos anyway. I have never had hens that would take a whole season off of laying. I have hens that lay all year round. Sometimes they stop for a day or even a couple weeks but never more than a month.

    I am not just some mean ol heartless woman who likes to cull anything not acting right....we raise chickens for food, not pets (even though we treat them like pets) they are food and I don't have feed to invest in a chicken that isn't pulling its weight around the farm......
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2009
  5. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    I would wait too, even a few more months if you like the hens generally speaking. I have had hens stop laying for several weeks when I just move them from one pen to another. (dagnabit!) Oh well... If I culled everything that quit laying for a while, i'd be out of business pretty quick. I DID get rid of my first silkies for not laying when they first moulted. Live and learn. [​IMG]
    Hopefully they will lay for you in a few weeks. Shortening days can be counteracted with artifical light that comes on in the AM and makes a 14 hour day. If they quit from being moved, you just have to wait until they feel secure. Hopefully they will lay for you pretty soon and you can hatch out some young'uns that you know for sure how old they are and get a fresh start.
     
  6. PaulaJoAnne

    PaulaJoAnne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2009
    They stopped laying at the beginning of August. Well before the season changed.
    They get lots of extra light,( we are lighting to make sure they get 16 hours) and they are the only ones not laying. All the young ones are coming on line and laying well, as well as the 1 1/2 year old RIRs.
    Even the ones that are molting are laying every day.
    They are penned in a very large run, and we give them bucket fulls of greens and leaves from the yard.
    No chance at all that there are eggs being hidden.

    Its almost like they finished off the eggs that were lined up in the duct in the few days after moving here, and then quit.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2009
  7. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    Riverside/Norco, CA
    Even hens that are "old" usually keep laying eggs, just less often. If you wanted babies from them I would wait. If you wanted a good return on your investment in eggs, or meat, and you wanted your payback quick, I'd send them to freezer camp and not look back.
     

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