chickens Still not laying!!

lilmissgreenthumbFebruary 16, 2009

I'm not sure what to do with them. I have 6 RIR hens (11 months old) and 2 americannas (1 1/2 years)hen. They stopped laying for the winter with the decrease in light. I put a light in their coop about 3 weeks ago. It's on from 4-8am, then again from 4-8pm. Is it not on for long enough? Is there anything else I can do? They are free range during the day, and locked up in the coop during the night. They eat layer pellets.

Thanks for the help,

Jenn

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fancifowl(5Pa)

14 hours is what you are looking for. They ought to be kickin in soon. The best way to add artificial light is in the AM, not the PM unless there is also a dim nite light. The heavier hens take a longer break than the leghorn tyoes.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 8:31PM
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blueberrier1

In your area, you might consider making the east side of the laying house out of hardware cloth or cage wire. I heard that there is an 'open wall for poultry' book now in print. This is an old practice. For us, it just happened as the one end of our hoop house was never covered. Our 12 black stars raised from hatchery chicks last summer have continued to lay almost daily over the winter even during our ice storm week. These hens have only had daylight. No hedge or trees limiting the natural light.

Are your hens free ranging? One person I know complained about no eggs from his hens. It happened that his fenced chicken yard had a misc pile of lumber...and, guess where the eggs were? Once he kept the hens inside til noon, he suddenly had eggs. Another factor to consider is the food available to them. Or is there a possum in the hen house? Good luck sleuthing.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 2:52PM
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posy_pet(z6Mo.)

I would keep them shut up until you find out for sure that they are not laying.I have had really good results from the KENT laying pellets.And lots of critters eat eggs.My hens do not free range and I am getting up to 9 eggs a day from 5 older hens and 7 pullets.(Ameraucauna and a few banties).Good luck.Posy Pet

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 7:01PM
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brendasue(6)

A lot of good suggestions have been posted. Don't let them run out of water, either. Have you checked for broken egg shells? At one point we went through a phase with the chickens eating the eggs-4 or 5 chickens were the culprits. We ended up having to seperate them 1 by 1 & culling the egg eaters, golfballs in the nests didn't work.
Brendasue

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 8:57PM
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featherhoof(zone 9)

Try supplementing the feed with alfalfa pellets(not cubes). It kinda 'kicks em into gear'.-Or so I hear. I've given mine horse feed with one on the first ingredients being alfalfa.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 10:19AM
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lilmissgreenthumb

No broken egg shells, I wasn't thinking that the chickens would do this, I was looking for the shells from rats. Would the rats take the whole egg away, or crack into it right in the coop?
I will try the alfalfa pellets. I'm also thinking about getting another 1 or 2 hens that are laying. Maybe this will "encourage the girls" to start laying.

Jenn

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 8:52PM
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msjay2u(7)

check out this blog. They solved the dilemma of not finding any eggs in the coop

Here is a link that might be useful: no eggs

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 9:43PM
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