Why have my chooks stopped laying???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Dreadlock chook mama, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. Dreadlock chook mama

    Dreadlock chook mama Hatching

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    Hi im new here
    I have 6 ex free range laying hens and I have had them about a month. They are on layers mash, as much as they can eat. always have fresh water. They have a 12 by 12 foot run and a lovely wooden house. They have grit and I have been giving a few occasional scraps, apple, banana, bread soaked in water and a couple of handfulls of mixed corn a day.
    Up until the last week or so they have been laying 4-6 eggs a day but now its 1 or 2 if we are luck and being a first time chicken keeper I have no idea why??? Dont know if they are hungry as they always seem to be but they always have plenty of food etc Any thoughts would be appreciated Thanks xxxxxxx
     

  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    [​IMG]
    How hot is it where you are? Excessive heat can often cut laying production.
    Also, how old are they? It may be time for a molt. Chickens don't often lay during their molts.
     
  3. Dreadlock chook mama

    Dreadlock chook mama Hatching

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    Hi
    Is is summer here (england) but not hot hot, 23 degrees ish? Im not sure how old they are? I guess they would be over a year, 18 months ish maybe? as I think egg production is at peak in the first year so after that the farms get rid:( xxx

    Would there be lots of feathers everywhere if they were moulting?
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2010
  4. simpsoncj

    simpsoncj Songster

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    I haven't officially gone through a molt yet so I can't answer that question. But I deal with broody every other week here! Are any of them wanting to stay on the nest? Usually when I have one broody within a few days I will have two or three more going that way. Sometimes it is obvious right from the start but other times they will get off and on the nest throughout the day at first and then after a few days start sitting tight and that is when I know for sure. When this happens I put them in a wire bottomed cage that is sitting up on four bricks so air can flow underneath, with food and water inside. It really makes them mad but it really works and it usually only takes two days. Occasionally I will get a stubborn hen and it takes up to four days.

    Again, I don't know for sure, but I kind of doubt they would just stop laying because of age. I think it usually starts to taper off after two years rather than just stopping altogether.

    Also, a few weeks ago, when summer officially kicked in here and we had about a 15 degree temp change, I was only getting two eggs a day for maybe two weeks and I usually get an average of seven a day. Sometimes production goes down and we never really know why!
    CJ
     

  5. Dreadlock chook mama

    Dreadlock chook mama Hatching

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    I have NO idea if they/one of them is broody lol I am a novis lol. I only notice one of them in the house/nest when laying an egg. I expected them to go off laying after the trauma of being rehomed and was supprised when they started laying stright away so I am stumped as to why they would stop laying a month later? maybe it is just one of those things??? xxxxx
     
  6. mgw

    mgw Songster

    May 29, 2010
    Eastern Wa.
    WELCOME!! dreadlock sounds like you are doing everything right maybe they just need to adjust to new surroundings feed and such. OR who knows what a chicken thinks I sure dont! I do think some folks on this website do know what they are thinking LOL. hopefully some one will come along with better advice than I .
     
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Eighteen months sounds about perfect for a molt. Generally you'll notice a slow down in production before you start seeing feathers everywhere.
    ETA: In the commercial battery (egg laying) houses around here they switch out the hens right before the time of their 18 month molt, as they don't consider it cost-effective to sustain the hens through the molt.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2010

  8. aceade

    aceade Hatching

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    I'm also new to Chicken's and have 6 Ex Batts with my first flock ( Actually mixed well on introduction) they also laid well in the first few weeks we had them and have gone of lay. We started with 8 eggs (From 12 hens) down to maybes 1 to 3 eggs if lucky.
    They did seem to be moulting as new feathers were forming we can see them coming through where they have bald spots. The eggs are now begining to increase again to upto 4 or 5 a day now. We've had the ex batts for 5 weeks now.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Dreadlock chook mama

    Dreadlock chook mama Hatching

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    Quote:Thanks for that, maybe it is just their age/moulting?? am missing the eggs tho [​IMG] I can see new feathers where mine have bald patches too. Fingers crossed we start getting more eggs soon [​IMG]
     

  10. CityGirlgoneCountryChick

    CityGirlgoneCountryChick In the Brooder

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    If it makes you feel better mine have also slowed down considerably (7 eggs a day to 1 sometimes 0). It has been extremely hot here over the last month with very high humidity. I know personally I would not want to give birth on a 100 degree day, so I am giving them a break. [​IMG]
     

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