Sudden none laying

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Nicksuch
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Sudden none laying

Post by Nicksuch »

I have six clucks in decent size coop with large run behind electric fox fencing. They have been great layers for the 18 months Ive had them. They have a constant supply of vermx layers pellets, mixed corn, and grit bowls. They get fresh greens and have two water stations. about nine days ago we went from 4 to 6 eggs a day to none since, and they are pooing in the nesting box part off the coop (and making quite a mess) on Sunday i gave a good clean, fresh straw in the nesting box etc and still no eggs and still pooing in the nesting box as well as the roosting area. suggestions please?
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KarenE
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Re: Sudden none laying

Post by KarenE »

Hi Nick

If you've had them around 18mths, and assuming they were at or over point of lay when you got them then they are probably around 2 years old, which is a time when their laying will be slowing down. Plus they do tend to stop laying over winter, when the days are shorter and there is less sunlight. Thirdly, if they are moulting or moving into a moult (yours would seem around the right age) then they will also stop laying as they redirect the protein into feather regrowth. So I would say yours have packed in for winter and are considering whether to moult or not. If they are nesting in the boxes rather than roosting, that could also suggest they are feeling the cold as the weather has turned. Or they are just following habit and imagining they are laying (they do that sometimes).

In short, it all sounds perfectly normal winter chicken behaviour! Terrible time for chicken keepers, the first time we have to go out and buy eggs while our free-loading slackers snooze in their nestboxes...
Karen
Alpha chick to: Dorian Grey, Pokey, Mango, Smudge and Coco
Chief servant to Marley the cat
Remembering Weeps, Rexie, Sage, Cassie, Toffee, Captain Gabby, Commander Nugget, Ronnie, Juno, Special Poetry and Reading Casper, Tigger, Tophenanall Rembrandt, Chestnut, Tiddly and Willow
Also my lost furries Charlie and Jasper
Nicksuch
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Re: Sudden none laying

Post by Nicksuch »

Thank you Karen, yes they have had a big moult recently, bit of a shock to find so many feathers in the coop! they live in an eglu cube and i made an electric auto door for it, i may alter the close time earlier to try and keep them warmer. I do have a small pipe heater (not installed) but believed it wasn't a good idea to heat a chicken coop
Thank you for your reassurance
Nick
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lancashire lass
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Re: Sudden none laying

Post by lancashire lass »

Nicksuch wrote:I do have a small pipe heater (not installed) but believed it wasn't a good idea to heat a chicken coop


I wouldn't bother heating unless you have extremely cold winters - they produce a lot of body heat, fluff up their feathers and huddle together for warmth. Chickens weather cold much better than summer heat. If still concerned, you could insulate their coop with extra straw.

The rest from laying with be good for them - keep to their healthy diet, maybe occasionally some cod liver oil (for the Vitamin D) in their feed for strong bones (eggshells need a lot of calcium which takes it away from being deposited in their bones) In winter, they get hardly any sunlight so can't make the vitamin D - much like people (think rickets in children) - so the supplement will be appreciated.

Not too much corn, but some will give them the calories to withstand the cold.
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KarenE
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Re: Sudden none laying

Post by KarenE »

Good advice as usual from LL. Sardines in oil or tomatoes (not brine) are also good, especially if they have been moulting. Not too much, the odd tin now and then

No heating as LL says, but do make sure the coop is ventilated otherwise condensation builds up, and they do need some ventilation to make sure there isn't a build up of ammonia which is bad for their respiratory systems

Be aware that if your girls are around 2, they may not lay as regularly as they used to when they do come back into lay around spring )t'
Karen
Alpha chick to: Dorian Grey, Pokey, Mango, Smudge and Coco
Chief servant to Marley the cat
Remembering Weeps, Rexie, Sage, Cassie, Toffee, Captain Gabby, Commander Nugget, Ronnie, Juno, Special Poetry and Reading Casper, Tigger, Tophenanall Rembrandt, Chestnut, Tiddly and Willow
Also my lost furries Charlie and Jasper
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Mo
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Re: Sudden none laying

Post by Mo »

Yes I agree. The problem with winter is not so much keeping the hens warm as making sure that the water doesn't freeze.
If they ever free-range in the garden I would wonder if they were hiding the eggs under a bush, or if some animal was taking them. We had a magpie that used to wait on next doors roof to beat us to it. But they do slow down in winter (though surprised that it is so sudden)
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lancashire lass
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Re: Sudden none laying

Post by lancashire lass »

Mo wrote:But they do slow down in winter (though surprised that it is so sudden)


my remaining girls are obviously older but the White Star was still laying fairly regularly until recently - then she stopped suddenly about the time we got that earlier cold snap. Today there was a surprise egg )app( (the temperature this morning was 13oC .... I suspect from tomorrow will be a lot colder so I wouldn't be at all surprised if she decided to stop again LOL)
bikesandbirdsbob
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Re: Sudden none laying

Post by bikesandbirdsbob »

Hi , you have now seen the reason the farmers cull their birds at 18 months , a person making money from eggs , do not feed birds at cost and no repay .
They do lay more so do not fret .
But remember like humans they have only so many eggs inside them and once you have them then they are baron and only a pet .
breeds vary in the nr of eggs per year and how many eggs they can lay.
Bantums are famous for 70 eggs a year .
Check your breeds and you will see the average they produce .
Bob
Hope it helps and I am sure they will be healthy.
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p.penn
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Re: Sudden none laying

Post by p.penn »

Two out of my three have stopped laying recently. One is 6yeRs old, so I doubt if she will come back into lay next year! Mind you, I was surprised when she did this year, and had an egg most days from her! The other one is moulting, and then no doubt she will go broody again. Not the best layer! The one that is still laying well, has missed a couple of days recently, but seems set to forge ahead for the winter months. Well hopefully!
Helen xx

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Nicksuch
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Re: Sudden none laying

Post by Nicksuch »

all great ideas, thanks everyone, temp is hovering around 0, luckily i just managed to get eggs for the Christmas cake and icing :)
day off tomorrow so may put a bit of insulation round the coup
No frozen water yet, and ill grab some sardines from the shop. and if they are luck give them some meal worms!
Oh and yes they are pets, they are with us till the end!

Thanks again

Nick
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