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Chickens not laying
Fri 28-Oct-11
10:06 am
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Ashby de la Zouch
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Fri 28-Oct-11
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I have 5 -  2yr old chickens - they stopped laying about a month ago - what am I doing wrong?

Carolinewhat_the_heck

Fri 28-Oct-11
11:00 am
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Aly
Normandy France

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probably nothing as it is to do with less daylight hours. Most of have mine have stopped too and I just get 1 egg every other day. Up the greens and give poultry spice on warm porridge. It may help. Lots of chicken eggsperts on here to help yousmile

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Fri 28-Oct-11
11:15 am
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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Hi Caroline,  wave

Nothing is wrong with your hens, a 2yr old chicken will be going through her first serious moult & that can happen anytime from midsummer till late autumn. It takes a lot of energy for them to produce new feathers, especially after a long spring & summer of heavy egg production¦¦they need a bit of a rest.

In all probability they will not start laying till the new year (when the days start getting longer). Hens' ability to lay is naturally triggered by day-length(ie light) & warmth. Some people try to encourage winter laying by installing light & heat into their hen houses. I don't believe in this as I think they need their 'time-off' but I do give them more protein in their diet at this time of the year.  Commercial egg producers use specially bred hens which have very high yields & they only keep them for one year of egg production before getting rid of them. A hen is fledged from it's egg with the number of eggs it will produce in it's lifetime, already predetermined. The highest yield is in it's first year (from the moment it starts to lay, that is). 

I hope this helps. You haven't done anything wrong; it's just 'nature'.

They get a bit grumpy & out of sorts at this time, but come next year their combs will turn bright red again & the eggs will start appearing. By the way what breed are they? Old fashioned pure breeds are often more reluctant egg producers.

Welcome to our forum & let us know how they get on. smile

 

Nadine/aka Hattie

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Fri 28-Oct-11
11:29 am
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Ashby de la Zouch
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Thanks for your replys, I dont know all the breeds, we have a Speckledy, 2 Rhode island reds a Buff Orpington and one unknown that we adopted when it walked into our garden!

 

Thanks again

Caroline

Fri 28-Oct-11
12:15 pm
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Aly
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I have 8 Buff orpingtons and love them to bits! 2 boys and as I said out of my 6 girls only one gives an egg every other day!what_the_heck 2 are moulting though so I hope they may start agin soon. They all started laying last December when snow was on the grounddoh

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Fri 9-Dec-11
11:41 am
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Hattie
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I just found this very good article on winter-laying hens etc & thoght some of you might be very interested.

 

http://matronofhusbandry.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/.....nter-eggs/

 

I have read her blog for a couple of years; she farms in the Pacific Northwest of the USA.

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Fri 9-Dec-11
3:52 pm
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Aly
Normandy France

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interesting reading, just going to add straw to the hen housebig_laugh

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Fri 9-Dec-11
7:03 pm
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JoannaS
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I was thinking of overwintering chickens in our greenhouse. Not so sure that no predators will get in, I am sure the stoats and weasels will if they get a chance. Mind you, wonder if her greenhouse is a glass one - that would explain it.

Fri 9-Dec-11
7:18 pm
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Hattie
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You could build a secure inner chicken compound for you birds, that would be more feasible. Anyway you wouldn't want them eating your winter veg.  which they certainly would do if they were loose in your greenhouse. 

 

If you built a large compost heap / bin inside the greenhouse, using the chicken poo etc it would help heat the greenhouse in the winter & keep the chickens warm (therefore more winter eggs. The compost would be made just where you needed it as well as heatingso you got earlier crops. Just a thought.........whistle

ponder

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Fri 9-Dec-11
7:21 pm
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JoannaS
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I was thinking of putting them in an ark in the greenhouse. I guess that would work. Then we can move them around too.

Fri 9-Dec-11
7:28 pm
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Hattie
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wave

 

I added a bit to the previous post........just to confuse you Joanna.....sorry

 

laugh

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Fri 9-Dec-11
8:06 pm
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Aly
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I have filled the houses with straw and gave them a bowl of porridge with poultry spice before bed. I had a mashed up soft shelled egg in the house yesterday which I think was one of the Light Sussex birds as the previous owner mentioned this problem. Hopefully with a good diet this will sort out. Several of my girls now have red combs

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Wed 14-Dec-11
9:01 am
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Aly
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  Monday and Tuesday Daphne layed me a beautiful little brown egg. I have put in an order for it to be produced daily as that will enable me to bake using my eggs. I am really pleased the soft shell problem has been corrected

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Wed 14-Dec-11
12:10 pm
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Toffeeapple
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Good to know that you have had a good result on that front Aly.

I'll try that again!

Sat 24-Dec-11
2:01 pm
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Hattie
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wave How are things going on the egg front Aly? Have more of your hens joined in yet. This morning I noticed more of mine with bright red combs & I think Antony has noticed too..........whistle  surprised  big_laugh 

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

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