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Winter and they're on strike (forever?)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by emilyfrancis, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. emilyfrancis

    emilyfrancis Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2008
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    I have 7 chickens who were all laying in October. Five of them are under one year and two are just over two years old.
    They all stopped laying except the Welsummer.
    She lays nearly every day but not a single egg from the rest in 2-months.
    One lady went through a molt but he rest look shiny and fat.
    They get free choice feed, Fresh water, and greens from our kitchen scraps.
    What's the deal?
     
  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    With the lack of light, and the colder temps...they will slow down, and sometimes stop for a while. It lets them recondition thier bodies, and rest the reproductive system. Im sure they will be laying little machines in no time at all. [​IMG]
     
  3. Granolamom

    Granolamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 9, 2008
    Dallas
    Quote:Did you move them into a new coop, or have they had any other changes? Mine went on strike for almost 2 months, too, after moving them into their brandnew run. They just started laying again.
     
  4. emilyfrancis

    emilyfrancis Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2008
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    No changes.
    Last winter my three girls slowed a bit but nothing like this.
    I'm buying eggs and I haven't had to do that in 2.5 years. I thought having seven would be a perfect number
     
  5. chickenpiedpiper

    chickenpiedpiper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2008
    New Durham NH
    I have upwards of 30 hens and some are over 5yrs, but most are under 1-2. I have found that by introducing a 250 watt white heat light in our coop, that is on a timer to come on at 6:00 and off at 6:00, we see no appreciable drop in egg production. Some people say 14 hours, but I have no need to push them that hard, as winter is supposed to be a bit of a rest period for them. I have also found that the birds really like this light, it drys thier wet feet and feathers, and keeps the shavings dry and warm for them to fluffle around in! On rainy days they come in and dry and preen just to go back outside! Its like giving them thier own personal sun! remember too, if they have to use body energy to stay warm, they are not going to lay.

    Some people use just a plain light bulb, and that is adequate, but in our cold NE climate, I find the white light also keeps the coop from chilling down too much during the day before the redlight comes back on. (red light at night, so I can do a head count, and they can find perches and stay warm.) I also aim the lights near the plastic waterer, so it stays ice free.

    Oh, and a last thought, egg production requires a constant supply of fresh water, even a few hours with out water can slow a hen down for a few days (so I have read) Are you having winter water troubles? Feeding good egg layer food?

    Hope this helps. Good Luck.
     
  6. emilyfrancis

    emilyfrancis Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2008
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    They have water and a short coop that's not conducive to supplemental light. I'm at a loss.

    It could be the extremes in weather but that's par for th course around here.
     
  7. chickenpiedpiper

    chickenpiedpiper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2008
    New Durham NH
    It is safe to say that if your birds are using thier energy to stay warm at night, they wont lay as much, and if they survive the extremes as you call them, then they should begin laying for you come spring.

    Good luck!
     

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