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#71850 - 02/17/04 06:44 AM Chickens not laying well
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have 17 hens and 1 rooster. 8 of the hens are coming up on 2 yrs old. The other 10 are coming up on 1 year. The first eight laid eggs consistently until I introduced the second batch last summer. Since then we average 5-8 eggs per day. I know that production slows down in the winter, but this has gone on since last summer.
They get a good qualty laying mash and scratch. Any advice would be appreciated. confused

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#71851 - 02/17/04 07:04 AM Re: Chickens not laying well
Bill Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 10/05/02
Posts: 591
Loc: Nevada
My first thought is that maybe the 10 younger ones are not ready to lay yet. Large fowl breeds (if they are) tend to take longer to start laying than Bantam breeds.

The other thing is try cutting down on the Scratch. All birds will eat the Scratch before they eat the layer feed. Layer feed is normally around 16% Protein, feeding 25% of their ration in scratch will lower the Protein level to 14 - 15%. I think they would do better on straight Layer Feed
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Bill
http://www.geocities.com/wcmcgee@prodigy.net/photopagetan.html

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#71852 - 02/17/04 08:00 AM Re: Chickens not laying well
Anonymous
Unregistered


I'm not sure if it's an issue with you, but are your hens in the coop/pen all day or do they free range and go back to the nest to lay?
i had a couple of old hens that loved to lay behind the flower pot, which didn't bother me, but the neighbors dog found the nest and knew that not long after she started "singing" that the golden fruit had been laid for the taking! And he did! :p

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#71853 - 02/18/04 05:36 AM Re: Chickens not laying well
Anonymous
Unregistered


Some of this depends on what breed yours are, but I think everything sounds pretty normal.

My birds that reach 18 months in late summer/fall will molt and most will not lay again until after the first of the year when daylength is getting longer. Most of my birds will go out of production in October or November, but some of them will quit laying in August. I have a few 18+ month old birds that seem to hardly take a break at all(mostly my hybrid layers) while my White Rocks and Barred Rocks take the longest break. There is a lot of breed variability here.

Your young hens would have probably started to lay last fall and if they are like mine, my pullets lay right through their first winter. Making a BIG guess, I would say most of the eggs you are getting are from your 1 year old birds. Your two year old birds should start laying soon. Mine started about 2 weeks are go and are laying like crazy. I don't give supplemental light in the fall/early winter, but I do start increasing the light after Jan 1 (speeds up the process here up north where winter daylight is lacking even as the days slooooooowly get longer).

Oh, and as someone else said, make sure they aren't hiding eggs somewhere. laugh

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#71854 - 02/18/04 08:42 AM Re: Chickens not laying well
Anonymous
Unregistered


i would say cut back on the scratch keep laying mesh at all times you should see if a light in the coop will help hens slow down in the winter

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#71855 - 02/20/04 09:06 AM Re: Chickens not laying well
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks everyone for your input!!!

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