What's. Going on???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by iluvchickens49, Aug 7, 2016.

  1. iluvchickens49

    iluvchickens49 New Egg

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    Aug 7, 2016
    My 24 week old Leghorn had been squatting and later laying eggs. But she hasn't laid an egg in two weeks. And she won't squat. Otherwise she appears healthy with good energy. Can anyone help out explaining this behavior. I've researched for days and can find nothing.
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!

    Tell us more about your flock and coop/run in general.....
    ....and specifically:
    Do you have a cock/erel?
    Do you free range?
    What and how exactly are you feeding?
     
  3. iluvchickens49

    iluvchickens49 New Egg

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    Aug 7, 2016
    No Roos. Raised them from 2 day old chicks. 2 leghorns 2 buff orps 2 RIR. I have a small coop and they free range from dawn to dusk. They used to roost in a tree at night. I let them because it's been average temp 100 here. But lost one RIR to a possum last week so it's back in the coop at night. I feed layer feed. Access to oyster shell. Cool water mister during day that's around a shade tree. Fresh water I add ice to during day. Treats are mealworms, watermelon, grapes and 1 cup scratch in the morning.
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    It sounds like it's very hot where you live if you're taking steps to cool down their environment. The heat may have something to do with the interruption of laying.

    Diet also plays a role in egg laying, and some layers can be very sensitive to nutrient balances. I have a hen who only laid for a brief period each season and then quit until I began feeding fermented feed. Now she lays very regularly throughout the entire season. This is a marvel in itself since she's six years old.
     
  5. iluvchickens49

    iluvchickens49 New Egg

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    Aug 7, 2016
    What is fermented feed?
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I'd bet there's your answer...she could very well be laying out in the range area somewhere.
    Sounds like it's too hot to lock them up in the coop but:
    Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop for 3-4 days can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. Fake eggs/golf balls in the nests can help 'show' them were to lay. They can be confined to coop 24/7 for a few days to a week, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.


    The heat can also have an affect, all that water they drink is being released to shed heat from the body, so not enough left for making eggs.
    I give my birds a small dose of electrolytes/vitamins(save a chick) once in awhile in the hot weather, gives them a boost.



    They may also be a bit short on the protein levels:
    I like to feed a flock raiser/grower/finisher 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat. I do grind up the crumbles (in the blender) for the chicks for the first week or so.

    The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer. I adjust the amounts of other feeds to get the protein levels desired with varying situations.

    Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

    Animal protein (mealworms, a little cheese - beware the salt content, meat scraps) is provided during molting and if I see any feather eating.
     
  7. iluvchickens49

    iluvchickens49 New Egg

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    Aug 7, 2016
    Thanks for new ideas. I do scout around looking for possible range eggs. Going to try your suggestions [​IMG]
     
  8. iluvchickens49

    iluvchickens49 New Egg

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    Aug 7, 2016
    My girls are 6 months old now. One white leghorn was the first to squat the first to lay. She laid eggs for 3 weeks and stopped. No more eggs. No more squatting. She runs from me now. She is healthy, bright red comb, clear eyes clean feathers. She is very stubborn acting. Won't let me get close even with treats. She will eat the treats but keeps a watch on me. If I get close she runs. She hasn't laid in over a month.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Did you confine them?
     
  10. iluvchickens49

    iluvchickens49 New Egg

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    Aug 7, 2016
    Yes
     

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