laying hens, agegreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
ok,, the chickens I got are established,, staying in their area, going in at night. But only some of the hens are laying, just the Rhode Island Reds,, maybe 1 other. Why arent the otheres, buffs, rocks,, some weird looking ones,, why arent they laying? They arent even going inot the nest boxes. I know age effects how many they lay, but do some breeds stop completely after a while? These birds are in their second year. I plannned on eating them anyways, but , wanted some eggs first. Whats the oldest bird you still have laying?
-- stan (email@example.com), November 01, 2001
Sometimes it can take them several days to a week or more to settle down after being moved from familiar surroundings.We have had birds laying in their 4th and 5th year but they really slow down their production by then. In their 2nd year they should be laying quite well still. Wait a bit and see how they do. Good luck. Tomas in BC
-- tomas (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 01, 2001.
Sometimes the shock of a move throws them into a molt, where they will lose some feathers and not lay for anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks. But other than that, they should be laying at least 4 to 5 eggs a week at two years of age. I have had 5 and 6 year old hens that still lay 2 or 3 eggs a week, production really slows after 3 years of age.
-- Annie Miller in SE OH (email@example.com), November 01, 2001.
If you change things in the bird's area, or a predator runs thru at night, sometimes just small things, will set the hens back. My birds lay/hatch eggs all year around with no added heat/light.
I know of a 12 year old hen who periodically lays an egg!
-- ~Rogo (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 01, 2001.
As above, environmental changes can set laying back, or even throw the birds into a moult. Also (and maybe compounded with that), going into winter with shortening day lengths will stop most birds laying. Yes, I know some people can be lucky with some birds, and if I lived in the USA I might be tempted to try and get some fertilised eggs from them, but the fact is most birds go off the lay anyway, regardless of other external influences, when day length shortens.
-- Don Armstrong (email@example.com), November 01, 2001.
We lost, unfortunately, "Mama" a couple of weeks ago. She was 9 years old. She disappeared and I thought she had been scarfed up by the ubiquitious predators that we constantly batle. Not so! She had gone into the upper reaches of the barn and decided to lay her own eggs and hatch them. She hatched 1 chickie. It was about 3 weeks old when something, I suspect a weasel since we have a pretty tight barn and I know we have no rats, killed her while she defended Chickie. Chickie is doing fine, although undoubtedly still suffering from emotional scars. Point is - chickens even 10 years old still lay eggs, just not as frequently. And the older they get, the bigger the eggs get. Larger breeds tend towards double-yolkers. If you are having chickens for a profit, I suggest you eat them all and invest in the more lucrative field of bridge auctions. If you like your chickens, want some eggs, and enjoy things as they are meant to be, then kill off the bad tempered ones and keep the sweethearts forever, or at least until one of you dies. GL!
-- Brad (homefixer@SacoRiver.net), November 03, 2001.