What would you do?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bigredfeather, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 30 some girls have not laid any eggs for well over 3 months. They vary in breed and age, but all are under 1 1/2 years old. I realize hens sometimes slow or stop laying in the Winter months due to length of day, cold weather, ect, but this started prior to the days getting short enough that should hinder laying. You would have thought I would have at least gotten a few eggs. If they were all the same age and breed, it might be more believable that they would all quit. Some even have a light on them 14 hours a day. All of them are purebreed, so they shouldn't be wearing out this quickly.

    My question, if it were you, would you give up on them and get some replacement chicks now, so in case they don't start again, I will have a chance at getting eggs from the new girls this Summer? Or, would you just bank on them starting laying again soon and do nothing. My fear is if they don't start laying, and I wait to get chicks until the time I know they should be laying but aren't, so then I will have to start over then and, keep buying eggs until next year. It really stinks to go thru so much feed every week and get nothing in return.
     
  2. sgtmom52

    sgtmom52 Birds & Bees

    Did they just go through a molt? Hen often stop laying for months when they molt. I have 9 two and three year olds that started molting and quit laying in Sept. They just restarted laying the beginning of Jan. Many people do replace their hens when they slow down laying, but that is usually after 2 to 3 years old not 1 1/2. I am one of those people that will keep my old girls and take care of them in their old age whether they lay or not.

    Try giving them some extra protein, treats and some BOSS ~ maybe that will kick start them to start laying again.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
  3. karimw

    karimw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:My 16 kind of quite laying this fall, but I still get 2-6 a day without any special light. If it were me and I had room, I'd get some new ones started (which is what I did last fall) When spring comes and the older ones start back up again and the new ones get going I'll more eggs than I know what to do with. Then I'll start weeding the older ones out.
     
  4. farmer_lew

    farmer_lew Hi-Tech Redneck

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    I agree that if you have room, start some new ones. If the others haven't gone through a molt, they may be about to. Seems odd, though, that it is all of them at the same time. But that is all that I can think of.
     
  5. beckt

    beckt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If it were me, I would give them some time. I am just starting to get an egg from one of my almost 2 year old EE. They all did molt kinda of a staggered thing and some are just now finishing up. I give them time to recoup and start on their schedule not mine.
     
  6. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Some of them did go thru a molt at the beginning of October. That is when some stopped laying. Not all of them molted at that time.
     
  7. farmer_lew

    farmer_lew Hi-Tech Redneck

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    It takes a lot of calcium for them to regrow their feathers. That is why they stop laying. They don't have enough to make eggshells. Give them time, and oyster shell for extra calcium.
     
  8. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Still no eggs. I cleaned all the pens and put up more lights 2 weekends ago. I'm getting really concerned now. Does everyone still stick to their advise?
     
  9. WingingIt

    WingingIt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2009
    Are you home during the day? Is your coop locked and predator proof? I'm wondering if you have a human predator taking your eggs or something. It sure seems to me that you should be getting at least a few every now and then.
     
  10. txliss

    txliss Out Of The Brooder

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    Mine went thru a hard molt in early September and didn't lay until mid December. I read at the Stock Show that chickens shed their oviduct lining and everything when they hard molt, so that makes it understandable why they don't lay for so long afterward. I totally understand your frustration, though. My youngest son won't eat store bought eggs (says they taste weird), so he was on egg strike while I had to buy eggs for all my Christmas baking. Sheesh.[​IMG]
     

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