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Egg Shortage!!
Sat 8-Jan-11
1:31 pm
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Nanny Cook
East Sussex

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Anyone else found that their hens have gone off lay far longer than normal at this time of year?  We have around 16 hens and have not had one egg since the beginning of December!!  I know they are only rescue hens, but they are not that old and are usually very good.  Roll on the longer daylight hours, perhaps they will pick up. ponderconfused

Sat 8-Jan-11
2:09 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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wave I have 12 hens and they stopped laying about the same time as yours.  They are not laying yet, but I must admit I'm not expecting any for a week or two.

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Sat 8-Jan-11
10:04 pm
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Terrier
York

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My 10 hens, had stopped laying during December apart from the occasional odd shaped or shell-less egg. The only one that stayed consistent was my little silkie. However in the past week, there have been one or two eggs a day starting to re-appear. I was told somewhere they need at least 14 hours of daylight for regular daily laying.

Sun 9-Jan-11
10:15 am
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Nanny Cook
East Sussex

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wave Bless them, silkies are wonderful Janet.  Unfortunately we have just lost our little lavender pekin, she was around 7 I think.  They also make terrific broodies and mothers, we have reared many from our past silkies.  Not had nearly the same success with incubators.  Hopefully ours will start laying again soon as the days get longer.  Though can't remember it being this long before? confused

Sun 9-Jan-11
6:28 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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We are still waiting for our first egg, Marilyn. I think towards the end of Jan from memory.

But we are so looking forwards to our own eggs again. We may have to invest in some additional hens this year as ours are quite old now (7 and 8 years).

Interestingly, in winter we buy our eggs from the local village shop. They are barn produced but taste nicer than the supposedly "Free Range Organic" supermarket offerings. And at under £2 per dozen, they are probably the only item that that shop that are cheaper than supermarkets! star

Never knowingly underfed

Tue 11-Jan-11
10:31 am
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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Good Morning, this is my first post on this forum.

I am thrilled to tell you my first hen started back into lay on the 1st January (perfect timing as I mark them on my calender).  Gradually the others are joining in & I think I have 3 laying virtually every day now. I have a lot of young pullets who are coming up to point of lay; last year I had 3 seperate hatches (under broodies) including one lot of 18 chicks.  I have pure Dorkings & Dorking X White Plymouth Rocks so surplus cockerels end up in the freeezer.

It is so good getting back to using my own eggs as the shop bought free-range stuff is tasteless.

I hope all your girls start soon.

Hattie

 

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

from Les Miserables

Tue 11-Jan-11
11:35 am
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MOS
Cannock Chase

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Hello Hattie

and welcome

glad to hear your hens are laying so early my girls have gon on strike i think ,they stoped for the moult in october and just havent started again since ,i think i am too lax with them ,i will try stamping my feet and shouting more to see if they respond big_laughdohwaveMOS xx

sit down with a cupa and the urge will subside

Tue 11-Jan-11
11:35 am
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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wave  Hi Hattie and welcome to the Forum

Oh how I agree with you about having your own eggs.  I am still waiting ( not so patiently now ) for mine to start laying.  i don't have a cockerel right now as 4 have just been despatched and are ready for the freezer for soup.  I wanted new stock, so a friend has a young cockerel I will be getting next month.

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Tue 11-Jan-11
12:00 pm
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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Hello MOS & danast,

 

Thanks for the welcome. I have been an avid reader of the Cottage Smallholder for well over a year. it is a great favourite of mine & has been a huge help coming to terms with an ever shrinking income.

I had to learn to kill my own chickens......no easy thing as I had never seen it done. I had a lot of help from a U.S. Poultry forum where they have a lot of hands-on information (photos & videos). I then quietly 'did the deed' by myself & surprisingly all went very well.  I was very surprised as I was sure I would not be strong enough (I am over 70 & have arthritis). The plucking is harder so I skin some cockerels. 

I think you might help bring your girls into lay faster if you feed a lot more high-protein food, pellets , corn & house scraps. I almost doubled my feed in that very cold weather & mixed it with Poultry Spice (to help keep them warm) & that seems to have done the trick. I haven't done this in previous winters & they have been much later to lay.

Hope this helps,

Hattie

 

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

from Les Miserables

Tue 11-Jan-11
3:27 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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And a big welcome to you Hattie!  (My goodness three new recruits in one day!  I shall die of happiness.)  Since you've been reading us for a year, you'll know that we don't bite and would love to have you joining in as much as you can - we love a good natter!  I'm batty about chickens, can't keep my own but love to hear about everyone else's.

I'll try that again!

Tue 11-Jan-11
3:41 pm
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maggenpie
Cornwall, UK

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I'm feeling smug smug now because when I cleaned out my duck house yesterday I found a nest of six eggs and a golf ball hidden in the litter. Another two today, so both my girls are laying. The golf ball? Oh I'd chucked that in a couple of weeks ago thinking it might give them a hint! big_laugh

Never assume anything - except an occasional air of intelligence.

Tue 11-Jan-11
4:08 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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maggenpie said:

 The golf ball? Oh I'd chucked that in a couple of weeks ago thinking it might give them a hint! big_laugh


 

I get the feeling that it's cheating to do that!

I'll try that again!

Tue 11-Jan-11
4:15 pm
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maggenpie
Cornwall, UK

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Tell you what was funnier, if perhaps a little unfair...

We used to have this totally mad but lovely cock pigeon, my son's pet. Pidge got broody so my son offered him a golf ball, which was accepted. Then another, and another and another...

It was found that Pidge could manage four, but more than that and they kept rolling away from him so he'd spend all his time rounding them up. Dear Pidge, he happily sat on his golf balls for months. big_laugh

Never assume anything - except an occasional air of intelligence.

Tue 11-Jan-11
4:18 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Had a foot in the other camp, so to speak, did he?  big_laugh

I'll try that again!

Tue 11-Jan-11
4:24 pm
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maggenpie
Cornwall, UK

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Ah well, you see the thing is that the lady pigeons sit on the nest at night, keeping snug and warm. So the cock birds sit during the day, leaving the girls to spend all day eating, sunbathing and socialising with their girlfriends.  Good eh?

Come over to the Dydh da diworth Kernow thread and I'll tell you more about dear Pidge.

Never assume anything - except an occasional air of intelligence.

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