Why aren't my hens laying? Here's what I'm doing:

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kristenm1975, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. kristenm1975

    kristenm1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 23, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I'm free feeding them layer pellets mixed with about 30% cracked corn, some oyster shell and some grit. They always have water available and I feed them whatever kitchen scraps the chihuahua doesn't eat.

    I have put a light out in their coop and its been up for two weeks as of this weekend past. It's a 100 watt bulb and its on from 5am to about 10pm four days of the week. On the days when I don't have to get up at the crack of dawn, I turn it on a couple hours before dark and leave it on until around 10. (I'm planning on getting a timer but haven't gotten around to it yet.)

    My hens consist of: 3 ameracaunas, 3 barred rocks, 1 white mystery hen, 1 silver-laced wyandotte, 1 phoenix, 2 gold-laced wyandotte, 1 Sicillian buttercup, 1 new hampshire red (I think), 1 naked neck, 2 naked neck/silkie crosses, 2 blue cochins pullets, 1 sebright, and one or two more I'm forgetting.

    I haven't gotten any blue eggs for well over a month now. There a couple in there that I don't know of ever having layed yet (the 2 blue cochins, the 3 naked neck or crosses, and two others). But most of the others I'm sure have layed in the recent past.

    It doesn't look like more than about two birds are molting, but out of all of those hens, I'm only getting one large brown egg and one small brown one a day. What gives?? I'd love to hear what you all think I should do.
     
  2. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    How old are your birds, and is it possible they may be laying somewhere else?
     
  3. kristenm1975

    kristenm1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Seattle, WA
    Thanks for asking! The 3 Ameracaunas, 3 Barred Rocks, 1 white mystery bird, 1 sebright, 1 NH, and 1 GLW are all about 2 years old. One of the GLW is old enough to lay but not an old bird, not sure. Same with the Sicillian buttercup. The naked neck is around a year. The naked neck crosses are young, maybe only 6 months. The blue cochins are less than 6 months also. The SLW and the Phoenix are less than a year old. I think that's all of them!

    They have a fully fenced run and are only let out to free-range maybe once a week. Their coop only has one place where eggs could be randomly laid and hidden, but I peek in there every so often and only once have I seen an egg on the floor in the straw there. I think it was my Phoenix's. She's had a habit of laying her eggs willy-nilly wherever she happens to be standing when it pops out. [​IMG] Other than that, I can't imagine where else they would have to hide them.
     
  4. henney

    henney Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 3 RHI's, one started laying at 19WKs. The other two haven't started laying yet. They are on layer pellets. I serve them cut up greens with tomato, corn, rice or pasta everyday. They free feed on Grit and Oyster shell in their run. I occasionally give them scratch as a treat or cut up grapes. Henrietta, the one who started laying eggs is the one who sneaks in the kitchen door and steals Buster's dog food, she grabs a piece and runs back out the door! I wish my other girls would start laying. There 21wks old now.
     
  5. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    Well, here's my 2 cents and this is just from what I've read/heard from more experienced people:

    When using artificial light if you miss the light even one day or by a few hours one day it can (and apparently usually does) cause them to stop laying or force a molt.

    So, it's certainly possible that this is what has happened since you said it changes on some days.
     
  6. kristenm1975

    kristenm1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 23, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Oh man, Chirpy, if that's the truth, that sucks! So potentially, I've actually made the situation worse! [​IMG]

    Any suggestions for what to do next? Besides get the darn timer already.[​IMG]
     
  7. rufus

    rufus Overrun With Chickens

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    Put that light on an automatic appliance timer, and then forget about it. Chickens don't like their routine broken up.

    Good Luck,

    Rufus
     
  8. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    I second Rufus's suggestion. Put the light on a timer.
     
  9. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    If what I said/read is true... then I have to agree with Rufus and ChickenToes that your best bet is to put the light on a timer and see what happens.
     

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