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Country Discussion Topics
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Lazy Chickens
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Jimbob    Posted 11-21-2004 at 08:58:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
My 10 Bard Rock layers went from 6-8 eggs a day to 2 eggs a day almost overnight. The chickens are 17 months old. I have 6 new Bard Rock, but the new birds was placed with the older birds in the summer & everyone gets along fine since last summer after a few weeks of 'who is boss' type feeling out. (New layers are not laying yet, but due soon).

The chickens have a fenced in 20' x 20' outside area & a nice coop that is 10' x 10' x 10' high without any weather issues- good protection. I also have 20 laying areas (that metal fab type group).

The temperature here has dropped to 30s at night, but still in the 40s & 50s during the day. I heard chickens are sensitive to light, but use a light in the coop till 10PM at night.

They get as much feed as they want, all chickens are active & healthy. I have not changed the feed either.

Any idea why the eggs have dropped off to 2 eggs per day?


toolman    Posted 11-21-2004 at 22:08:22       [Reply]  [No Email]
we had 60 chickens. they were laying good for the longest while then they stopped, down to two eggs a day, couldn,t figure out what happened, we,d let the free range during the day lock them up and with their feeders full at night, father in law gettin and old veggies ,lettuce all that stuff from the market , throwing that in the fenced in area for them, we finally figured why the quit layin, ever hear the term FAT n LAZY, you guessed it they looked more like meat birds than layers, so we sold them for meat birds, then we quit with the chickens and proceeded to go on to loose money in cattle,pretty good money around here for meat birds though.


Donna from Mo    Posted 11-21-2004 at 12:11:42       [Reply]  [No Email]
I've never had any hens lay in any winter after their first one. I've heard all kinds of ideas that are supposed to make them lay, but none of them worked for me. Commercial egg producers only keep hens for one winter only, then sell them.


Bkeepr    Posted 11-21-2004 at 10:10:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
Almost entirely due to light. They'll slow down earlier and longer the older they get, but it is due to the shorter periods of light this time of year.

Big commercial outfits simply provide artificial light in the coops...as I recall 14 hours a day keeps them laying at full production. Downside is that they "burn out" lots faster without their natural winter rest so you have to replace the hens about every 2 years. I let mine rest.

Tom A


Hawk    Posted 11-21-2004 at 10:04:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
cooler weather and less natural light {shorter days} will slow egg production. 14 to 16 hours of light per day for maximum year round production. Never decrease the lighting period on birds in production or they will stop producing. You will have to add lights in the fall or winter. An inexpensive time clock can be installed to turn lights on in the morning hours and let the birds go to roost with the natural sunset.


Zenia    Posted 11-21-2004 at 09:17:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
Are they molting?

My arucana stopped laying, but it took several days before I could see she was molting. The barred rock has gone to every other day at best, of late. I actually bought some eggs at the store last week to make a cake. Made me so glad I have my hens. The yolks my hens have is a very rich yellow, not the pale that the mass producers have.


Hey Zenia    Posted 11-21-2004 at 10:08:34       [Reply]  [No Email]
I don't think its a problem sleeping in the nests really, its just all the poop in the nests. It dirties up the eggs. My nest boxes stay pretty much clean for three weeks at a time. They only use them to lay the eggs in. At night, most roost on the bar in the chicken house, a few like to sit on top of the run, but I try to go out and put them in and lock themup in case a neighbors cat or an owl gets wise to them being on top. The only poop I have to clean out regularly is that row under the roosting bar, makes clean up a lot easier is all. :) I posted a picture of my buffs below, if you wanna see them :) KellyGa


Jimbob    Posted 11-21-2004 at 09:47:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
I bet that is it- I did not think about that. Right age to start molting and right time of year. 2-3 month layoff from eggs if luckey, can take longer.


Mike Ga    Posted 11-21-2004 at 09:15:34       [Reply]  [No Email]
Cold weather. I have found that the Buff orpghingtons are the best layers in winter. I had some that never stopped laying all winter with no lights on them at night. Make sure they have all the laying mash they want. I keep a hanging feeder filled.


KellyGa    Posted 11-21-2004 at 10:01:41       [Reply]  [No Email]

Yep yep yep, my girls are giving me an egg a day every day. They stopped for a little while, not even a month, they had a light molt going on. I love my girls.

Here are my 5 buffs, I also have 5 speckled sussex.


Zenia    Posted 11-21-2004 at 10:15:09       [Reply]  [No Email]
Aw they are pretty! My Buff Orp is a tall, lean thing, starting to fill out now though. Very shiny feathers, she looks pretty healthy.


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