Why did most of my flock stopped laying last July?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by grassoviso, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. grassoviso

    grassoviso Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 3, 2014
    Northeast Ohio
    In June/July of 2015 most of my flock suddenly stopped laying. At this time it was no where close to the normal Fall time drop in Egg Production I'm used to. The girls were at the following ages back in June 2015:

    4 Leghorns (15 mos old)
    1 Bantam OE Game Hen (15 mos old)
    2 Easter Eggers (11 mos old)
    2 Welsummers (11 mos old)
    1 Barred Rock (11 mos old)

    I checked them for parasites with my local farm vet and nothing. I wormed them twice. This was also before the days started getting too short. I don't use artificial lighting. I feed them decent food (Layena Plus Omega 3) and I add in 2# of crushed oyster shells to each 40# bag of feed. I was giving them a poultry vitamin/electrolyte combo in their water through the end of the year at least. They do not get excessive treats. Their stool appears to be firm and not runny. They haven't had anything new in their environment with regard to stress they are isolated from scary sounds and have plenty of room to hide from other bird predators. Overall they really do seem as happy as they can be.

    So in review:

    > Negative for parasites
    > Good nutrition
    > Overall health appears fine
    > No loose stool
    > No known environmental stresses
    > No leg mites
    > A couple cases of Bumble-food that is nearly healed up
    > They scratch and play in their 50' by 30' by 20' tall outdoor enclosure.
    > Food and Water are available inside and outside of their coop.
    > Lastly they are invisible to those who live in my neighborhood due to my 6" tall privacy fence.

    Now that the days are getting longer I am starting to see 1 or 2 eggs from my leghorns. But still nothing from the others. Here are their current ages as of this post.

    4 Brown Leghorns (24 mos old)
    1 Bantam OE Game Hen (24 mos old)
    2 Easter Eggers (18 mos old)
    2 Welsummers (18 mos old)
    1 Barred Rock (18 mos old)

    Any Ideas?
    Thank You Poultry Gods!
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
  2. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    More helpful would be a list of the birds that are still laying and how often.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    @chickengeorgeto that info is there.

    @grassoviso they didn't lay at all since last July ...until now they are starting again?
    Did they molt?
    Did you ever coop them up fr a week or so to be absolutely sure they are not laying in their range area.

    I would say it could be a combo of the low protein feed and molt.
    Note: don't mix oyster shell into feed, offer it separately tho they probably don't need it with layer feed.

    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.
  4. ladyearth

    ladyearth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 23, 2013
    why rinse the shells..???? I can see spreading out to dry but rinsing... I used to.
    but lots times I just immediately go out and throw them the group the crushed egg shells I just cracked. I crush in my hands while walking out there. and try to remember I have eggs in the skillet on the stove.......
    I get so destracted by scooping up poo etc I have to run back to kitchen and save my eggs from burning>>>>LOL
    just a wondering
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I rinse the albumen out of them then set to drain/dry because I don't feed them back right away, and I don't want any mold/bacteria growing on them.
    Albumen is one of the best mediums for growing bacterial cultures, it's even used in the pharmaceutical and other biological lab industries.
    After they are dry I store them in a bowl on the counter and crush up a bunch at once.

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