When is their first molt? Cause something's not right...UPDATE-Pg2

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cjeanean, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    I posted about an egg we got last night that had a funny looking coating, and today we haven't gotten ANY eggs at all. We went from getting up to six eggs per day to getting none, all within a four day time period. I have 18 hens that should be laying, all around 28 weeks old. What's the deal??? Could they be going into their first molt???? Nothing's changed as far as their diet, and the weather hasn't been particularly different. It got a little chilly for a while, only reaching a day time high of like 70 degrees, but that was only for a few days. Starting on Saturday we only got like 4 eggs, then on Sunday we got another 4, Monday we got three, and today NONE. There are at least 6 hens laying, probably more like 10, and I have no idea why the other 8 or so haven't started laying yet or why we haven't gotten very many/no eggs in the past few days. Has anyone else experienced this???? I'm really worried! They aren't losing feathers or anything....and the ones that have been laying have been doing so for about a month and a half. Could they be molting so soon?
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2008
  2. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    What are they getting for their food? Should be getting layer pellets... Are they getting oyster shell? Getting lots of water? I wouldn't think it would be moult at all. Are they free range? Could they be laying in a bush nest? Or under a tree? HUMM Sorry I'm not much help...hope someone else can give you some good tips. Good luck!
  3. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    Quote:I have too many mixed ages to put layer pellets out for them, so instead they are all getting all purpose poultry crumbles and I have plenty of oyster shell free choice for them. Hasn't been a problem. They have free access to food and water, and there's no way their eggs are being hidden, since they're in an enclosed run and coop.
  4. keljonma

    keljonma Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Have you checked to see if they have worms?
  5. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member 10 Years

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Maybe they forgot. Mark an egg and put it out there in the nest. Maybe if they see it they will be reminded to lay.
  6. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    Quote:LOL!!! If only it was that easy!!!

    They have not been wormed, but would that affect their egg laying???
  7. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    Quote:Wait......were u serious????
  8. ella

    ella Songster

    Dealing with parasites will definitely affect laying, it's compromises their immune system and can lead to all sorts of problems, I've lost girls that would've survived if they hadn't been compromised by parasites. I keep a very close eye on them now.

    In the evening go out with a flashlight and take a look at them. Feel the crop, make sure they're eating plenty, and the muscle on either side of the keel, they should have muscle there- depending on breed lots on heavies just a little on lighter breeds.

    Next, part the feathers around the rear and look for mites and eggs. And part the feathers all over to look for new feathers growing in- that would indicate they're molting. And look at the poo make sure there's nothing weird going on there.

    If you do all that you'll have a lot better idea how your flock is doing.

    It's very possible they're just slowing down because the days are getting shorter and colder. But knowing how to moniter their health is very handy. [​IMG]
  9. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    Quick question: what's a keel????

    Okay, so I went out and checked them, and from what I can tell there are NO new feathers starting to grow in. Their poop all looks normal (there was quite a bit to look at right under the roost LOL!). Crops are all full, and they're definately not taking it easy on their food or my wallet. I felt their abdomens between the vent and bottom of the breastbone, and there was nothing, but when I checked from side to side (placing my hand on top of the chickens back towards the tail and reaching around with my fingers) I could feel what seemed to be a hard lump. I don't know if it's an egg or not. If the chickens are egg bound, how long before I'll see symptoms? Listlessness, droopiness, etc??? If I need to check, how do I get in there to poke around??? I've read that you gotta stick your finger in at a certain angle to get into the reproductive tract instead of the intestine. I don't have Vaseline, but I do have olive oil. Will that work as lube???
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2008
  10. ravenfeathers

    ravenfeathers Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Quote:the chances of all 18 of your hens being egg bound simultaneously are freakishly small. i think your odds are significantly better of getting struck by a deadly lightning strike just as you win the lottery. i haven't got any clue why your hens aren't laying, though. it seems like parasite infestation would affect some more than others and wouldn't give you this total egglessness. also, you'd be noting some unthriftiness in your birds if they were so infested that it kept them from laying. because of the widespread nature of your problem, the fact that it's affecting your entire flock but not making them sick, leads me to suppose that it's something environmental, either the weather or the light or both, moulting, or something very amiss with the feed although, again, i'd expect some birds to continue to lay sporadically even with wonky food.

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