Where Are My Eggs?!?!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Ellochicken, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. Ellochicken

    Ellochicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    146
    4
    83
    Jul 29, 2012
    Hey B.Y.C,
    This should have come up to topic about a month ago, but my chickens stopped laying, a month ago. I'm not talking gradual here, they just one day, out of the blue, STOPPED! This all happened when we decided to start giving them a natural feed with cracked corn and all that good stuff, and we had been feeding them the boomgaars layer feed and switched them form that over to a feed made naturally by a local feed store.
    And about 3 days later, we got NO eggs, the next day, nothing, and that has been continuing for about a month now (3rd time I've said that, sorry) And the day before this chaos went down, we got our usual 3 eggs a day from my beautiful hens.
    Please help me, and I know this message sounds unlike me, but I'm stuck guys, and i need your help. We got them back onto the boomgaars feed and we still have nothing. We have tried, and we have failed. Time to pull out the big guns.

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Leave a comment, any comment, even if its a guess or theory, I don't care, just so long as it has even the slightest possibility of getting us eggs.

    THANK YOU ALL!

    -Ellochicken[​IMG]
     
  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,419
    319
    198
    Aug 4, 2013
    Are there feathers everywhere? It is the time of the year for a molt and they (for the most part) all stop then for up to 6 weeks. A few things to look for:
    1) Feathers everywhere = molt, increase protein levels to quicken molt and restart laying during molt.
    2) Check vent for lice/mites: Lift the tail feathers and look at the vent for any bugs or egg sacs (makes the bottom of the feather look like q-tip). If so, treat with sevin or poultry dust.
    3) Egg eater: If your natural food didn't have calcium and you didn't provide it they could eat a soft shelled egg and you would never know. Mine did this when I changed feed and I supplemented after that they didn't even think of eating the regular eggs, so don't worry.
    4) Stress: The change in feed could have stressed them out as they don't like change. This seems less likely because this is far too long for them to still be stressed over that small of a change (unless something else happened).
    5) Worms: Check the poop for anything wiggling around in there. You won't see anything on a mild infestation (most all birds have a few and do just fine, it's only when it gets out of hand that there is a problem) but a bad one there will be something there. Also, worms tend to make them loose weight, so it is noticeable.

    That is all I could think of, I hope this helps.
     
  3. Ellochicken

    Ellochicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    146
    4
    83
    Jul 29, 2012
    THANK YOU! I will try de-worming them, and i have only noticed my RIR, Penny, has been heavily molting, but I didn't even THINK about worms or stress... You may have saved them until spring... Thank You SO SO SO SO much, foreverlearning!!!!!!

    -Ellochicken[​IMG]
     
  4. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,419
    319
    198
    Aug 4, 2013
    Keep me updated, I hope you get some eggs soon.
     
  5. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    5,387
    916
    291
    Dec 25, 2012
    You failed to mention what kind of hens you have. Some hens lay a lot of eggs some only a few. Some hens are intended to just look at.
    When you changed your hens ration you may have put them into a forced molt and if you did they may not lay again before March at the earliest.
    Do you keep supplemental light on your birds?
    Add a few leghorns to your flock. 6 young white leghorns should produce 3 dozen or more eggs per week during the high egg laying season.
    Is there enough animal protein in the new ration that the feed store whipped up?
    Where are your hens and how is the weather there?
    Frost bit combs can make a hen stop laying or make a rooster infertile until the damage heals.
    Since you are not getting any eggs to discard anyway, don't you think that now would be a good time to worm your birds and treat them for mites so that they will be ready to rock & roll when the time comes?
     
  6. Ellochicken

    Ellochicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    146
    4
    83
    Jul 29, 2012
    I have two Buff Orpingtons, 2 Black Stars (Sex-Links), and 1 Rhode Island Red. I have a heat lamp on them most of the day until about 10 at night. And I'm almost completely sure that the feed store had enough protein in their feed, but not entirely sure.
    I am trying to find some laying hens, but can't find any for a good price!
    Life is hard.

    -Ellochicken[​IMG]
     
  7. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    5,387
    916
    291
    Dec 25, 2012
    Commercial laying flocks are sometimes forced molted so that the hens will come back into lay during the winter when egg prices are higher. To force a molt the flock is subjected to short term starvation. This could also happen when the chickens' ration is suddenly changed.

    Cracked corn is the least healthy chicken feed because a large (or smaller) part of it as the case may be is made out of dust, sweepings, screenings, and broken grains that have dried out or lost their vitality. Any local feed store that accepts your cash should include a heaping helping of good old fashion “tankage” in their chicken feed recipe.
    To understand the term tankage better I am including this 2 year old link from WWW.BYC.com

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/510700/what-the-heck-is-tankage

    To paraphrase Lasterlass in the above link:
    In the wild chickens are scavengers like the vulture, the crow, the magpie, and the buzzard. Chickens eat the living, the dead, the rotting, and the putrid. It is just the nature of chickens, they are what they are, and that we can not change.

    However I do think that the chickens ability to eat, live, and thrive off of what humans will not is the main reason that we first domesticated the chicken.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,532
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    How old are your birds? If they're at the 18 month range, it's completely normal for them to quit laying for the winter.
     
  9. Ellochicken

    Ellochicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    146
    4
    83
    Jul 29, 2012
    SUCCESS!!!
    I have found an egg in the nesting box today! Thank you all for your support, and it turns out that it WAS the feed! They had been eating their regular feed for about a month now, and have finally bounced back enough to start producing again! I greatly appreciate the constant posts to help, and it has WORKED! We got it!
    Again, and a million times more, thank you thank you thank you!

    Sincerely,
    Ellochicken[​IMG]
     
  10. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,419
    319
    198
    Aug 4, 2013
    Congrats!!! Better keep them away from that other feed then.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by