When will they start laying again?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by fly12, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. fly12

    fly12 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2012
    I have a group of 12 pekins, 8 hens and 4 roosters. There are 4 trios: lemon cuckoo,lavender, buff and black. They were all bought at different times in summer this year. The lemon hens laid for about a month then went broody in July and havent laid since. The black laid a few very small eggs after they were bought in august and havent laid since. The buff were bought in late july at 10 weeks and never laid. The lavender were bought in june at 19 weeks and never laid. Last week, I added light which lasts 14 hours. How long will it take for them to start laying? They should all be ready to lay.
     
  2. fly12

    fly12 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2012
    anybody? :(
     
  3. kwhit

    kwhit Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2013
    Mansfield, MA
    It sounds to me like they are confused.

    I haven't tried artificial light yet. We are roughly 1 month from the shortest day of light. You just started (a week ago) to use light exposure.
    My feeling is that it will take some time for them to acclimate to the change. I wouldn't expect an instant change.
    You don't mention what phase of feed you are using. You should be feeding layer ( to the hens) judging by the ages.
    I can't tell what part of the country you are in. (Is it really cold where you are?) I assume you keep a strict eye on their water quality & consumption. That will greatly affect their laying. You don't mention if you are giving any extra nutritional dietary suppliment.

    If it were me I wouldn't have bothered using artificial light at this point.

    You could discontinue the light exposure and go back to natural light and let them get back into rythm between now and Spring at which point, by next June/July that is when you begin the light exposure. Light exposure therapy, I think, needs to be adjusted at least weekly.

    I was going to try the light exposure thing this year on my 6 layers, (3 Rhode Island Reds and 3 Black Sex links all 8 months old) but I didn't get my act together quick enough to begin the experiment. And even though I am not using extended light exposure, I am still getting 4-6 eggs a day. I did notice that when we got a cold snap a week or so ago they did not lay as much. Got two to three eggs a day. This week we have had above average temps for Massachusetts and they have been laying like it is Spring! Go figure..
     
  4. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Adding light isn't a magic bullet. You can't jump them from 10 hours one day to 14 the next and have it make a difference. What you're actually doing is stimulating the pineal gland, and that takes time. When increasing light, you must increase it in 10-15 minute intervals every three days or so. Once they reach 14 hours, it can then take up to 6 weeks for the light to make a difference. We add enough light to hold the hours of daylight steady in the fall once they get down to 12 hours, wait until we see the first moult, then begin bringing it back to 15 hours so that it's back early enough to stimulate the flock to lay after they come out of moult (and just in time for the Christmas rush on eggs). Here are some university fact sheets on adding light. You may be interested in how to light birds for growth rather than eggs, etc:
    http://umaine.edu/publications/2227e/
    http://www.sp.uconn.edu/~mdarre/poultrypages/light_inset.html

    I don't know why your birds aren't laying. Sounds like they all should be, even without supplementary light, as many pullets lay right through their first winter without a moult. Can you let us know how they are housed, what they're eating, etc?
     
  5. fly12

    fly12 Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    They are on half layer half chick starter
     
  6. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Do they get to leave the coop? Are there any windows?
     
  7. fly12

    fly12 Out Of The Brooder

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    They did go outside all year but i have not let them out the last few days because it has gotten cold. Yes there are windows and there is alot of light in the coop when the lights go off in the morning.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  8. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Sorry, I don't have any ideas for you. I didn't identify anything you're doing wrong.

    However, let those poor chickies out! Cold is not a problem for chickens. They are far more stressed by summer heat.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. fly12

    fly12 Out Of The Brooder

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    Well when i let them out a few days ago, they didnt go out so i figured they didnt like it outside, but i will let them out tomorrow morning.
     
  10. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Chickens are creatures of habit, and if something is different one day from the next, they won't go out. Takes them a bit of time. Every year for the first snowfall, there is a traffic jam at my hen house pop door as the lead birds stop dead in the doorway scared of all of that white stuff and the ones behind them are pushing because they don't know what the holdup is. After a day or two, it's not so scary any more and they go right out.
     

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