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#104457 - 06/30/12 04:36 PM My hens can't seem to lay eggs
Doodlechik Offline
New Egg

Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 2
Loc: WA State
I have 2 Delaware hens that are about 2 yo.
They were really good layers until this winter. Not all that cold here and we gave some extra light etc. Into the spring and beyond they have just been sick off and on and have had continuous problems laying. Earlier this spring we had some soft shells, got that corrected, and we get them healthy again each time they get sick. But they are obviously not totally well.

What we have done.

Treated for mites etc.
We bring them in and do the TLC thing when they NEED it
We give them oil of oregano in their food once in a while for its anti-microbial effects etc.
They get a good balanced feed and lots of greens from my garden daily
They get keifer or yogurt with food in the evening.
Occasionally they get meat as a treat (once a month or so)
They have a compost area to dig in and a separate run and a separate yard in addition to their coop.
We give them oyster shell and grit at all times plus it is in their food.
We got rid of any hay and we had during the wet winter-because we lost one Delaware.
We keep their areas pretty clean. Not perfect
They always have food and water

They just can't seem to lay eggs! When they finally do (1 time every one or 2 weeks) they seem to need a recovery period.
Their eggs are very large and long.

We have 2 other younger hens that live in the same place with all the same conditions and they lay on a regular basis.

Anyone have a clue what is wrong with these girls??? They are not old.

#104458 - 06/30/12 05:11 PM Re: My hens can't seem to lay eggs [Re: Doodlechik]
Wieslaw Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 3824
Loc: Denmark
Welcome to the coop. Aren't your hens very fat and heavy? If they have food all the time, they may eat too much.

#104460 - 06/30/12 05:37 PM Re: My hens can't seem to lay eggs [Re: Wieslaw]
Doodlechik Offline
New Egg

Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 2
Loc: WA State
I don't think they are fat. They don't eat their feed usually until right after they lay(the younger girls anyway). They peck at it occasionally. Mostly they eat at night mixed w/kefir etc.

I have cut out scratch cause they were just pooping too much and I let them have greens- occasional piece of banana, melon, apple, but really try to keep the starches down since it is warming up now.I feed them pieces of tomato when I have extra. They eat bugs or grubs from the compost but they have to work hard to get those.

#104467 - 07/01/12 02:14 AM Re: My hens can't seem to lay eggs [Re: Doodlechik]
Foehn Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1974
Loc: New Zealand
If you are feeding oyster shell ad lib, they will take what they need. They do not need to have it forced on them by adding to their feed, so if this is a pre made feed, consider changing it to one that does not have added shell. If you are mixing your own feed, then cut out the extra shell, they are probably getting too much and it is having an effect on their shell gland. Too much calcium can have a detrimental effect on their kidneys also, especially in young birds. Sounds to me that the hens are getting too much food also, try restricting them for a while and see if the egg size reduces. Large eggs can be as tough on the laying hen, as what a soft shelled egg can be.


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