Would you send her to freezer camp - advice please!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lcammack, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. lcammack

    lcammack Chirping

    Jul 15, 2011
    Hi thank you in advance for your opinions and advice. Here is the story. We have six laying hens (well only five lay and that is the problem). We purchased them as 3 day olds on April 1, 2011. We have three barred rocks and three EE's. Two of the barred rocks and all three of the EE's lay very regularly. We average between 4-5 eggs per day. Which is great. All of the hens that are laying have distinct egg colors so we know who is laying what and when. The problem is with the 6th hen. She is a barred rock and she was laying soft turtle like eggs for about one month, only one of these was even hard enough to pick up and it was like jello in your hand. We tried everything to up the calcium for this hen thinking that was the problem. (all of the others have had great hard shells) We have always and still do offer free choice oyster shell and layer feed. We also supplemented with yogurt, and high calcium greens and the occasional scrambled eggs/shells. We dewormed the chickens and the soft shelled eggs stopped, okay great maybe she just had a large load of worms - only problem is the eggs never started again. She has been two months without any eggs - not even a soft one. She is of great average weight and nice feather (not molting) and she is not broody. So do some hens just never lay? I was thinking of giving her till spring to see if she will lay, but I would rather cull her sooner if there is no hope. Please help

  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Well I'm kind of laid back about the egglaying thing. Especially since they take time off now and then. Then there is the one year molt....

    I'd just expand the hen house if need be and get more chickens! [​IMG]

    (Ok, not much help here, lol!) But seriously...hens are not always egg laying machines. I always have more hens than I need eggs per day. It always works out like that for me. They don't all lay all the time.
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member 9 Years

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    I would let her go into spring. It is possible that she has some reproductive tract disorder but another 3 months or so should tell the tale as to what is going on.
  4. Evelle

    Evelle Songster

    Apr 27, 2011
    North Idaho
    if you feel the need to cull her. then id do it..
    i just culled 8 because they were multing and haveing 40 chickens and no eggs was a little to much so all the ones that where a year old i sent to the freezer.
    i have a few that i dont care if they lay or not and they are the origanal ones that we had three years ago..
    my wyanndott did that for a while when she first started to lay but then they gradually got harder and never had a soft one again.. if shes a first time layer id give her some time.. before you send her to the freezer but in the end its you who has to decide not us [​IMG]

  5. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    You must accept the fact that allot of these hatchery birds are so overly mixed bred with the main goal being to produce egg laying machines, that the hatcheries often overlook any problem breeders that have goofy egg plumbing but prefer to just breed that in instead of cull for it. So you as the owner have to decide what to do, personaly it doesn't seem worth the effort or the feed to keep her around with no return. You just simply got a bad apple............. it happens........... no big deal. good luck with whatever you choose.
  6. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Crowing 9 Years

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Not all chickens are created equal. Which is why some die for unknown reason. I suggest you do as you think is right. Most likely she will always be a problem and not one worth the money to deal with. Feed is to expensive to waste on unproductive birds.

    I wish you a happy new year,

  7. lcammack

    lcammack Chirping

    Jul 15, 2011
    lol - I suggested expanding the coop to my hubby and got a very quick and decisive "NO". Which is very unlike him, I think I will keep working at it, maybe I can sway him into a maybe and run with it! Our coop is 6' x 6' and we feel that with 6 LF it is maxed to keep them comfortable. With us only being able to keep 6 I would not like to have any free loaders. I fully understand that this first year is probably their best, and we will get less eggs (which is why I tried to get an expansion planned for the coop). Even if she were laying one per week she would be off of the freezer camp reservation list! Thanks everyone for you thoughts keep 'em coming.

  8. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    Yeah that is way to small of an area, which is allways the main problem with those toy type coops, folks think they can keep more than is actualy acceptable. I have no idea why the BYC keeps advocating 4sq ft per bird, it's just not enough for a large fowl, banty's yes big birds no no enough but maybe you can expand.
  9. woody1

    woody1 Songster

    Dec 8, 2010
    Just North of the PRK
    I suggest chicken an' dumplings! [​IMG]

    Regards, Woody

  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member 7 Years

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I'm fairly new to chickens but I think I would wait a little longer to see if she starts to lay again. First of all, you are maxed out in room, and you would not be able to put 1 chick in there to replace her, since it would need to grow up first. If you put an adult in there it could get bullied or pecked, because it is always better in my opinion to add more than 1 at a time, and to ease them together slowly over a few days to weeks. Secondly that 1 barred rock can't be eating that much food to not wait a couple of months more.

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