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Author Topic: Egg Laying VERY SLOW  (Read 2527 times)
itsme
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« on: December 25, 2013, 10:51:51 AM »

We have experienced a dramatic decline in our chicken's egg laying.  Nothing has been changed in the way they are fed, watered, lighted, or anything else.  They are not old.  And we have four that hatched this Spring that are still not laying at all, and should be by now.

I have heard quite a few others say the same.

Does anyone here have a similar experience, or a different one for that matter.

Does anyone have any thoughts to share on the situation?

Thanks,
Bill in Missouri
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2013, 02:20:14 PM »

it's the time of the year.  1st year hens will lay some through winter.  older hens may stop laying.  as the days get longer, the laying will pick up. 
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2013, 02:34:37 PM »

Our older chickens, Araucana-3 years old, have quit laying,  the younger chickens, Rhode Island Reds-1 year old, have increased laying significantly.
Jim
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GSF
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« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2013, 09:06:36 PM »

We have about 27 1st year laying hens. Our egg count now a days is around 17 or 18. They are still molting. We were getting 25 to 27 a day. Then our chickens started head butting passing cars so the laying population declined some.

I've heard folks say that you can run a light in the coup. Something about it giving that extra light makes the egg laying pick up.
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Burl
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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2013, 01:38:59 AM »

  Hi Itsme ,   We run a light in the coop this time of year , and we increase the amount of layer mash from the feed store from about 25% to 50% of their ration .  We also feed them some chopped clover hay (dried lawnmower clippings) .   This helps , but we have never had them equal their laying rate that we enjoy in the summertime .  We are near 24 hour daylight days in late June / early July .  Maybe that stimulates production ?
                                     Burl
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stella
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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2013, 12:34:05 PM »

I havent seen one egg from my 18 hens in a whole week. Before that, it was a frozen egg once in a great while.
I prefer to let my hens rest from laying in winter as nature intends... but I know you can increase production with warmth and artificial light. Do your hens have access to crushed oyster shell?
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itsme
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« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2013, 09:28:25 AM »

Yes, our chickens have free access to oyster shells, most of the calcium they eat comes from either bugs and such or from the crushed egg shells we feed back to them, also free choice.

We do give them artificial light and I have a heat lamp hanging next to the waterer to keep it from freezing all the time.  So the inside of the coop stays a little warmer than outside when it's really cold weather.

There may be something we could do differently with the feed that would help.  I'll have to think about that.  We custom mix our own organic whole grains so this would be another research project for me.

I like the idea of some greens.  I know they are short on those right now.  Though they do have access to our garden which has discarded hay from the goat shed and some green peas in their ration.

What still seems to be a puzzle for me is that the feed they are getting is the same as before and our chickens NEVER have molted and have always given us an abundance of eggs, even in the winter, until this year.....

Anyway, thanks for the responses and the input.
Bill in Missouri
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Burl
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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2013, 12:03:23 AM »

  Hi again Bill ,  Is it possible your hens are having problems with lice ?
 We dust our hens every month with cold wood ashes and give them a box of the stuff to dust bath in .  When we've had problems with lice before it sure had a negative effect on egg production , and the hens sure did look scraggily .  Just an idea to check out .              Burl
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edward
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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2013, 04:06:29 AM »

Could it bee that the Girls are getting a bit old?

mvh Edward  tongue
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2013, 06:24:55 AM »

As Edward said, in our one coop that stopped laying , the chickens are now 3 years old.
Jim
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REDBEE
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« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2013, 09:34:39 AM »

sounds like time for some chicken & dumplings  grin
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2013, 11:02:04 PM »

Yep, that's what we had the night before last.  grin
Jim
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colbees
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« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2013, 10:37:29 AM »

mine have stopped laying too.....
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« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2014, 02:27:20 PM »

do you have your artificial light on 24/7.  If you do I personally think it burns the hens out.   They dont get the rest they need.  I use a timer and give them about 16 hours aday.  I rotate my hen's out after there second year.   I feed layer mash and ALL kitchen scrapes except fish.
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edward
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« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2014, 03:20:08 PM »

ALL kitchen scrapes except fish.

Why not fish?
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itsme
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« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2014, 03:23:48 PM »

Hi Danno,
No we don't leave the lights on all the time.  We use a timer such that they have about 14 hours of light.  

When we first got baby chicks several years ago we had them under a white heat lamp.  When we changed the lamp out for a red one the chicks just collapsed from exhaustion.  It's funny to think about that now, but we didn't know any better.  The red lamp allowed them to sleep whereas the white one somehow kept them awake besides keeping them warm.

Thanks for the thought though.  You're right.  That would wear them out.
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danno
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« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2014, 11:24:49 AM »

ALL kitchen scrapes except fish.

Why not fish?
We talked about this a month or so ago.  Just the way I was taught.   I know many do feed fish
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edward
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« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2014, 12:59:10 PM »

Dose it make the eggs taste fishy or do the hens get sick?
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itsme
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« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2014, 01:11:24 PM »

I have heard people say that feeding chickens fish will make the eggs taste fishy.  I feed them some fish from time to time and notice no difference in the taste. 

If the chickens got a lot of fish it might affect the taste of the eggs.  I don't know...
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danno
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« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2014, 02:27:19 PM »

Bush had  stated that in some Scandinavian country that fish is all they feed to them.   Mine get a lot of meat but no fish
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