why won't my girls lay eggs?

Discussion in 'Nutrition - Sponsored by Purina Poultry' started by sandyr, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. sandyr

    sandyr New Egg

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    Dec 28, 2007
    I have read everything on this subject and just cannot get an answer. My 3 newest chicks have just started laying, they are 7 months old. Have 2 rhode island reds that are just 2 years old and they have not laid since last year. The remainder of my flock are 3-4 years old and one is 5--they have ALL stopped laying altogether. Feeding the same food as forever, treats include stale bread and daily scraps, which may include lettuce that's still okay for me to eat...no dressing .... Its started to get in the 30's here so I do have the heat lamp on at night (Sparks, NV) but this does not explain why the other chicks have not laid in over a year. Any help would be appreciated....
     
  2. chasiekitten12

    chasiekitten12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2014
    There is stress. It is the only answer. Give them more food. What feed do you use? You may want to get a new feed and mix them. Give them uncooked corn, whole corn and how much bread do you give? I would also like to know how many chickens do you have? Do you have a rooster? Go to a local feed store and get a laying mash and mix some of this in the food as well. Have this there 24/7! Do not let them run out of food ever! Always have some in there! Also if you want an even bigger chance of them laying feed them oats. Make a new roost so they have more room to sleep. Remember to change their water at least 3 times a week but the best would be 7 times a week.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
  3. janmccraw

    janmccraw New Egg

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    Jul 30, 2014
    It's got to be more than stress causing a hen to stop laying. Granted there is a pecking order which might effect some hens, however I've got a hen who has nothing to stress her out and she is spoiled rotten along with a well balance diet and boosters given for laying. Does molting play into this possibly?

    Jan
    In South Caolina
     
  4. chasiekitten12

    chasiekitten12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2014
    It does for winter but if it is all yearlong then there IS stress. Maybe it is a roost not big enough or the feed is not filling or the nestbox is dirty. Feed them some uncooked corn and I would do all of the things I listed.
     
  5. DrMikelleRoeder

    DrMikelleRoeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 3, 2014
    There could be a couple of things a play here.

    Let’s look at your flock nutrition. To make sure your layers are provided with adequate nutrition, they should be fed a balanced and complete layer feed free-choice, and the treats you feed should make up no more than 10% of their total diet. Given the severity of your situation, I would even cut the treats back further. Too many treats throw the nutrient balance off and can hinder performance. Adequate amino acid availability, calcium and phosphorus are of particular importance with older hens.

    Molt is an unlikely culprit, as even the longest molts are only 6 months long. But, your hens could be facing other stressors, such as space, nesting area comfort and access to enough light. They are also getting considerable age on them and may simply have reached the non-productive stage of life. You may want to have them checked for parasites, which can rob them of the nutrients in the feed. Predators lurking around at night could also be a stressor. Even something innocuous to us, such as construction noise, could be a potential stressor.

    Chickens need adequate space to be comfortable, so make sure your hens are offered at least 4 sq.ft/bird inside and at least 10 sq.ft./bird outdoors. From your question, I am guessing you have around 10 birds, so your coop should be at least 40 square feet and their outdoor space should be 100 square feet.

    Check the nesting boxes. Make sure that there is plenty of soft, clean bedding material in each nesting box. Hens prefer to not lay in dirty or unkempt nesting areas.

    Your hens will also need a proper light:dark schedule – 16 hours light, 8 hours dark per day for optimal egg production.

    Hope this helps!
     

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