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Zero Egg production.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CinnamonQueen, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. CinnamonQueen

    CinnamonQueen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All 5 of my hens have not laid an egg for 2-3 months now. My 3 older hens look like they are finished or in the last stages of their molt. I'm not sure if one of the 2 younger pullets ever started laying before winter started. They all look healthy and get clean food/water. We redid their coop in October, so that might've stressed them out, but I don't think it would still be affecting them. They don't have supplemental lighting and we are considering putting one in, but I'm hesitant to do so since I have read that they won't lay as long with lighting. I know that it's winter and everything, but shouldn't they be at least giving us a few eggs per week? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    (I know I've posted on here about egg production before, sorry if I'm coming off as annoying. Please bear with me, this may not be the last…)
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Young hens/pullets frequently lay right through the winter without supplemental lighting. Older hens who have undergone a molt generally wait until the lengthening days spur their hormonal systems causing them to lay. The short answer is that they will lay again as the days lengthen.
     
  3. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    X2, you are dealing with the shorter days and the older ones molting. If you plan on keeping your birds until they die, if you do not add light they will lay fewer eggs a year but for more years, and you usually are not going to get many eggs in the winter ... people who plan on replacing birds every couple of years add light so they get as many eggs as they can from them in that time.
     
  4. We have 22 hens and get about 5 eggs a day IF we're lucky. Our Americanas haven't laid a single egg this winter. Our only leghorn lays every day or every other day. We have a red heat lamp on them at night. It was -12° last night. We turn it off when the sun comes up and they come out of the coop long enough to eat. We have had our flock for just under a year. So this is our first winter. I didn't know that molting has an effect on egg production. I thought something was wrong with our girls.
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    They cannot lay eggs while molting, all their protein has to go into regrowing feathers (which are 98% protein). Then when they feather back in, they have to get their body weight back up to a safe level before they can give you eggs again. Some hens molt faster than others, but generally the process takes several months. When you see their combs go from pale and shriveled to bright and red again, they will be laying again soon.
     
    2 people like this.
  6. CinnamonQueen

    CinnamonQueen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks- my Leghorn's comb has been paler and shriveled lately. Thinking it was just dry air, I put some vaseline on her comb but didn't see any improvement. This clears things up. :)
     
  7. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    Some breeds are better winter layers than others, and some breeds simply won't lay at all (after their first year) through the winter without supplemental lighting.
     
  8. sbhkma

    sbhkma Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 5 10 month old birds. 4 of them moulted about 6 weeks ago and stopped laying completely. My lil Sophie (speckled sussex) kept on laying, but she was the only one. I went from 26 eggs a week to 3 or 4. They've all almost completely feathered out again and one of my cuckoo marans has started back to laying-her comb has gotten nice and red and larger again. The other 3 have sorry-looking combs, are slightly underweight but recovering. They're getting 20% protein and have oyster shell available (I've noticed their oyster shell consumption is increasing, so I expect more eggs soon), a handful of sunflower hearts and a couple hours of free ranging with the horses each day. My two girls are giving me 10 eggs a week, which is pretty good considering what I WAS getting a month ago! And the cuckoo who moulted is laying substantially larger eggs now.
     
  9. beckab

    beckab New Egg

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    My two older girls (will be a year in April) just started laying in early October and we were getting an egg a day from each. They haven't molted yet, but also haven't laid an egg in over two weeks. I put in a heat lamp today (to help keep their water from freezing) but I am thinking it is just because the days are shorter that they won't lay. They always laid in the early evening and now they seem to be content just roosting to bed at that time. I'm kind of sad about it because I thought since they were so young that they would keep going through this first winter. My other younger ladies should be ready to lay around spring.
     
  10. We have 22 hens and haven't had a single egg in three months. They will be a year old mid-March. We've tried everything and still no eggs. :(
     

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