About 4 weeks ago I gave 2 of my R.Red Rosters away. Ever since then my 11 hens stopped laying. Also one of them has been eating eggs from my other chicks. My R.Island hens are about 18 months old. I have a new young R.I. Roster. taking care of the flock. It seams that all that I am doing is wasting feed versus egg production. Has any one have any suggestions other then the old ax trick ?
There was an ole woman who lived in Houston.
She had three hens an’ a roosta.
Her ole roosta died, the ole woman cried,
‘cause the hens don’t lay like they usta.
Somewhat more serious: ‘pal is right about the molt. Hot weather and long days will also shut them down. I adjust my feed to the weather and how hard my hens are working. The hotter the weather and the less they lay, the less food they need is the way I figure it. Cold weather, they need more calories to keep warm.
It reads like you have a young flock. I wouldn’t ax them!–yet. Bide your time and ration your feed until around the vernal equinox, then they’ll turn on. Laying is geared to day length, I believe.
Any time a chicken eats an egg, it is either bored (do they free-range) or has a diet deficiency, I figure. I suggest feeding them, along with their regular layer ration, kitchen scraps (including egg shells). You also might try feeding free-choice ground oyster shells, more calcium in the egg-eater’s diet being the goal.
That opening ditty has been stored in my little mind for years. Every so often something calls it forth. Reading your post cued it. Thank you.