I know this was already brought up, but we are going several weeks now without a single egg from our chickens (two turkeys are laying). We usually do get a slow down in the fall, but nothing like this. We have about 30 hens---varying ages 6months-4 years. They have all been checked for parasites. In September we had a bad case of stick fleas, which are cleared up now. Can they create long lasting stress. No lice found either. I tried putting a few eggs in the coop to see if they would disappear (from egg eating chickens or snake). The eggs didn't move in 2 days.
I was told at the feed store I was not the first customer to report this problem. I'd be curious if anybody has any more thoughts on it.
In the past, I have had luck with extra light at night. At first it was to discourage predators (I live in the boonies and they even got into a pretty tight coop), but then I noticed that the girls kept laying as usual. The fall/winter slowdown was minimal. They probably have issues with the extra dark hours like we do. In fact, I think I'll get myself a blue light winter happy light. No egg laying, but maybe better work and experience amidst all thte darkness ! PS: The one I first used was a regular exterior light, normal bulb, worked on a timer and plugged in. I have found several solar powered types online in all price ranges. Am definitely going to give one a try this season. GOOD LUCK !!!!!!!!!!!!
In the fall, when they moult mine also slow down considerably....I figure it is the equivalent of chicken PMS. I have a light on in the coop, and that helps alot. I have also added black oil sunflower seeds to their rations this year. They love them, and it seems their feathers are coming back thicker and faster this year as a result. Janet
BTW, I could use a few more laying hens. Anyone have some youngsters for sale??
I just got some 4 month old birds from Cottonwood General Store in the South Valley on Isleta. They have little birds all the way to 1 year old hens. $15 each or $10 each if you buy 5 or more
I've got some speckled sussex for sale, they were hatched around July 27th, should start laying soon if I can get a light out there. I have two roo's (not crowing yet) and three hens. I bought them to breed, but my wife decided she doesn't want them anymore. I'll offer one of the roo's and 2 hens for $10 each, and keep the others to breed anyways! Call if interested. 967-6100
I am new to chickens...this is our first "season", but all I've read might point to feed, especially since they ALL stopped laying...and in, it seems, the same time range. Can't remember where I read it, but they indicated that egg laying cycles at 25-28 hours and they don't lay at night. So, the light issue might be the problem --but based on the cycle it seems you would get an egg or two per week. I dunno, I vote for supplementing your feed somehow. How? Beats me. OH...and my mom (an old chicken lady herself) said that warm water on a cold morning is important. I don't know if that's true, but I have been warming up water in the mornings for the ladies. My partner laughs. Good luck.
That makes sense. We actually did changed pellets in Sept, so I changed back to the old kind today. Thats the only thing I haven't tried. Lets see if it helps. I definitely got eggs last year during winter, so was surprised to be getting exactly zero now! I will keep you all posted!
What feed were you using and what did you change to? It would be interesting to see if others with the same problem are using the same feed.
If this group of chickens is from the same lot, same age, same conditions of growth they will have a slow period together, if they are a varied group however you would expect some to lay eggs. I would check the variety of food they are getting and have always believed supplementing their food source could always be helpful for their general health. If you stick to one kind of feed only....they may be shorted on something....and also remember they need access to small grains of sand or stone to help grind the nutrients out of the feed they eat, especially if you are using grains or portions of grains in their feed. Remember when they find the remains of the "dinosaur" they often find nearby the stones that came from the area of their stomach where the food was ground in their system because those stones were necessary.Yes they ate rocks to aid in the digestion of the things they were eating. The modern chicken is like the dinosaur in that way--perhaps some food they now get does not need so much grinding action but the chicken is still with similar equipment so keep that in mind----are there any loud sources of noise and disruption of their habitat? They need some isolation from extreme disturbances to stay on their regular living pattern. For example if predators roost on the powerlines above them they may not relax as well in such an environment. If a fox, coyote, skunk, wolf or dog makes a regular trip prying on their pen they could be somewhat disturbed by that regular visit. I have noticed a group of coyotes will frequent a pen even if they cannot get inside. Don't know if any of this helps but it is just what I can contribute.
Yes, varied age of chickens---6 months, 18 months, 30 months, and 42 months, etc.
I did think about the predator situation. I don't think its any worse than it has been, but who knows---this is in the North Valley. We get skunks, coyotes, dogs, and even porcupines.
I wanted to report that my chickens started laying in mid December after a 2 month hiatus. I don't know if it was the Manna Pro Caranation feed I had switched to or what, but I switched back to the cheap Onate stuff. Anyways, they started out with 1 or 2 per day, now we are up to 6 per day. I don't use lights either. Anyhow, I am happy they are out of their funk!
My girls recently began laying again (approx 3 weeks ago, one egg each every other day), after not laying at all for over two months—a coinciding period of brooding, hatching chicks, and their fall molt, I believe. Their laying doesn't vary much by seasonality, but then my yard gets plenty of light from dawn to dusk. Unfortunately I'm now de-worming, so I can't eat all the eggs they're laying :(