Chickens not laying

Discussion in 'Breeding, Raising, Feeding and Caring for Animals' started by Ellen, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. Ellen

    Ellen Junior Member

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    We are having about 16 hens and 3 roosters. And so, we are supposed to get some eggs, but that's not the case. We're very lucky if we get 1 or 2 a day, some days ther's nothing! The chickens are in a pen, big enough, and go out for about 3 hours every afternoon. They have free excess to our 2 hectare bushy premises during that time.
    We feed them the normal chicken mix we get from the local farm store - with sunflower seeds and crushed maize mostly.
    We give them veggie scraps, piles of compostable material and even lots of love :D.

    But what's going wrong?? The hens are defenitely old enough to produce eggs.

    HELP!
     
  2. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Are they laying somehwere else?

    What's happening with the weather at hte moment. This might be the main factor if its not been going on for a long time. If its been going on for a long time, it must be the food. My experienced farmer Joe tells me his chickens stop laying if there's lots of wet weather or if its too hot. At the moment his are not laying much. Neither are mine but i think mine might be laying somewhere else. Except the one that is sitting on a nest.

    Are you saying that the chicken mix consists of sunflower seeds and maize?
    Why not try to find some layer pellets and see if that makes a differents. There's lots of trace elements in that.

    Do you really have enough vegie scraps for 19 chickens? That would be a lot right. Are you sure you are feeding them enough? My research suggested that 100g of dried per chook for free rangers is required.
     
  3. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    I fine that a feed of fish will often bring them back on to the lay. You can sometime get fish heads and scraps from a fisk monger or local fisherman. Chooks don't seem to be too fussy but will gobble them up.
    Good luck Ellen - we are thinking of you here at Purple Pear.
     
  4. Pink Angel

    Pink Angel Junior Member

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    Have they given eggs and then stopped?

    I know my Aunty lets her hens go into the bush to forage. Only problem is they often lay there also.
    Hen's like to hide their eggs and may have felt there is a safer spot for them in the bush??
    Just an idea.....
     
  5. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    Make sure they are getting enough protien , Is it the normal laying season for you at the moment , my chooks are slowing down they will stop altogether for the winter and start up again in spring mine are getting a bit old , i had no luck hatching replacements this season . Commercial birds will lay 340 ish eggs in the first year , drop a little in production the following year then they drop production rapidly after that thats why they sell them off . Pure bred birds will lay a lot less and this means a period of no eggs this is normal , some of the ornamental type breeds might only lay 20 / 30 eggs a year in two sessions , if you can breed a few replacements 6mths apart this will help with a more regular supply of eggs , out of season chooks will normally do a short lay in the first season and end up cycling with the rest later on . Chooks are just like everything else in your yard they will take a bit of forward planning to get the best from them , however if they are not laying they are still doing good work on pest control and manure supply .
     
  6. Ellen

    Ellen Junior Member

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    Thanks for all the replies! We have been looking if the lay in the bush where they forage for a few hours a day, but could not find anything.
    It's true that it's now becoming autumn, however it is still hot here.
    The hens are not old - and during other times they were laying so much that we couldn't eat all the eggs!
    Maybe we ought to keep them in the pen for a few days, to see if they lay outside, I mean they will have to get rid of that egg inside then?!
    Purple pear, the fish might be a plan, we live along the riverside and could try and get some fish!
    Thanks
     
  7. martyn

    martyn Junior Member

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    You'll find two things that will stop them laying this time of year, firstly moulting - they wont lay as they come into moult and they wont lay whilst moulting. Some people say you can keep them laying by feeding a high protien diet, but I've never tried it. The other is day light hours. The chickens are programed to switch off, usually when the lenght of day vs night cross over, you can put a light in their coup and leave it on for 18 hours and they should come back on lay - it's not very natural and it will shorten your chickens life expectancy and personally I wouldn't do it.

    Other issues you may have are Crows, Lizards or Snakes stealing eggs - or other wild life doing the same. I know our dogs and pigs are fond of eggs and I often have to chase the piglets out of the duck pen.

    Martyn
     
  8. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    Might it be one or more of the hens are eating the eggs? If so a few doctored chilli, tabasco, curry filled eggs might deter them? In my henhouse the eggs dissappear down a slight slope in the laying boxes into an external false floor where the hens can't reach as I had several egg eaters and a large python. Soy meal or peanut meal or similar may do as a protein supplement to increase laying? Are they moulting? as the proteins required in their diet to grow new feathers stops them laying.
    Happy hunting.
    Steve
     

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