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#16204 - 11/18/05 10:20 PM Re: Can these birds be done laying already?
Sarah B. Offline

Registered: 09/02/05
Posts: 78
Loc: Wyoming
Have you checked them for worms or parasites? Are their faces red? Have their combs grown in size? You will see the combs grow larger before they begin to lay. Perhaps older age is taking effect too. Remember that three year old chickens do not lay as well as one or two year olds do.
4B's Bantams

#16205 - 11/19/05 09:49 AM Re: Can these birds be done laying already?

Booth Creek Poultry:
Are you saying that you are expecting full production from birds that are in their 4th year?
It might be time to start over. In my breeding flock I have some old breeders, as old as 6 years, some still lay, others haven't for a couple of years now. For the most part, mine don't get any extra light - only if I have a breeding pair or two that I want to get a head start with to be ready for exhibition.
I think you might be expecting too much. If you got good production from them for 3 years without addition light, they have been excellent producers for you. My guess is that these hens are a production hybrid and that whoever developed them likely didn't even try to determine their laying ability past 2 years, they're meant for high production, not long life.
My suggestion for the future would be to purchase replacements when your current flock reaches 12-18 months of age so they are ready to lay when your current flock is ready for their 2nd moult.

#16206 - 11/20/05 10:32 AM Re: Can these birds be done laying already?

No, the hens are not 4 yrs old, but the last 3 yrs where I had chickens I never needed a light. before that I lived in germany and there my ten, 13 yrs old aussies never needed a light to lay either. The hens themself are right now 9 months(black stars that still haven't started laying) and 1.5 yrs old.
I dewormed and debugged about 2 months ago and they look all awesome,besides the leghorns(4 of them), those are still molting.
Today one of my old banties(8 yrs old) surprised me with an egg, the first one I've seen in months, and she doesn't get fancy layer feed or any extra light....... That means I'll at least get 1 banty egg each day from now on, this hen is better then any of those commercial layers, 8 yrs old and lays like crazy when she isn't moulting or broody.

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