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Young hens stopped laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by unclejohn, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. unclejohn

    unclejohn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I posted this already but didn't really get many answers.

    Just as winter began and the daylight hours were starting to diminish my older hens stopped laying as much. Once I noticed that i had a light in there 24/7 and the hens that were still laying kept on laying but the ones that had stopped have not started again and its been at least a month and a half.

    now my young hens at this time were just starting to lay and had smaller eggs, which is normal im sure. So then my neighbors dogs attacked my flock and killed two of the chickens. after that attack egg production never increased. i was getting 13-17 eggs a day from my 22 hens, and now i am getting 5-7 from the reamaining 20!

    whats going on here! A few days ago i started to turn the light off for night, making sure to give them 14 hours of light in there.

    before winter my hens would be outside all day usually, from 8am -8pm, that is until they started to lay in the bush and then i only let them out around 2pm each day.

    please help!
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    The light being on 24/7 initially was extremely stressful to them and may have had the opposite effect you were hoping for when you chose to add the light to increase production. I do see you have since adjusted that but as it has only been a few days since you started allowing them a more natural dark/light cycle by turning the light off for for a period of "night" the birds have not yet had time to adjust to the change or have their production be effected at all by it. It really sounds like your flock has had a long stretch of stresses and that is being reflected in your production.
     
  3. unclejohn

    unclejohn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay thanks very much. I figured it would be a week or two before they were used to the new light schedule. i hope they start laying again, cause im feeding them all the mean time
     
  4. unclejohn

    unclejohn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    anyone else?
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Recovery from any 'stress' can take....as long as it takes....could be a couple weeks, could be a couple months.

    The timelines you have posed are not clear to me.

    You just changed the light from 24 to 14 a few days ago....not sure how long the light had been on 24 hours.
    I've read that it can take up to 6 weeks for that to have an effect, but that's once it's up to 14-15 hours after a gradual increase in light in late summer. Decreasing the light that abruptly, which is a significant stress, might spark a molt.

    When did the attack happen?

    Anyway...I agree with OGM that your birds have been under great stress and it's hard to say when they will start laying again. Chickens are like that, they don't always lay when we want them to, there are 'dry' spells and they still need feed even when not laying.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. mortie

    mortie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was also going to suggest that perhaps changing the light schedule on them again might cause them to molt. It's pretty normal for them to molt when the days get a little shorter, which for yours they just did. Hopefully some will start laying for you again soon, but it may be a couple of months before you're back up to full speed. OGM and aart are right, they're not machines and as much we would like them to produce on demand, sometimes we have to be patient.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. unclejohn

    unclejohn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay thanks guys, well i have had the lights on 14 hours a day now so i will just wait it out and leave it as it is. my timer is already set up so ill leave it there. im still getting enough eggs to cover feed costs so at least im not losing money!
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    There ya go......I have 8 hens and 6 pullets, one is broody one is molting....today was a high count of 7 eggs, there's always slackers.
    But the egg sales are still paying the feed bill, just barely.
     
  9. Angie16hearts

    Angie16hearts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @aart or anyone else !!! You have helped me in the past. So I thought I would ask you. Please bring it on if anyone else has any ideas!!!!
    I have a 1 half year old hen. She laid really well Intel spring started. She had a rough molt! So I credited her 3 month molt to not laying . Well it's been between 6-7 months now. She has only laid two eggs.
    I treated her for worms 2x. Also, I have been putting DE and poultry dust on her and any other dust bathing areas. I feed my whole flock very well! Tons of different Seeds, layer/grower crumble. I have one last hen ready to lay. So less grower food. Greek yogurt, ACV , veggies, mealworms........ I could go on! We just expanded the coop. Which I need to post on a couple other threads. She has plenty of room! I clean every weekend. I just don't understand. I will say she's looking like she has a brush and a mirror. Help please ! I did check vent it looks healthy. Comb is pail but no white. Thank you in advance!
     
  10. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you have other hens of the same age that are laying well, the issue is probably not dietary. You may just have a hen who decided to quit laying eggs. I've had a couple of hens that were great egg layers, but who just stopped laying when they were 15 to 24 months old. Some became internal layers (RIR), but I'm not sure about the others as they seemed healthy, but just stopped laying (golden laced wyandotte, Easter egger). After months of no egg production, I finally decided to cull them.

    With many hens, this type of decline happens when they reach 3 or 4 years of age, but with others, a dramatic decline may happen much sooner. It may be genetic, or it may be some type of internal disease or disorder. Just curious - what breed is she?
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2015

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