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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:11 pm 
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Hatchling
Hatchling

Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:50 pm
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Hi there,

Just joined in from Ballina in the NSW Northern Rivers. I have 5 chickens: 2 aging ex-battery Isa Browns, I white Sussex, 1 Black Sussex and 1 Barnevelder. I've had them for almost 2 years and I spoil them all - perhaps the little Isa Browns a bit more than the others :-) I'm interested in all things chicken and will be learning a lot from this site.

I do, however, have a specific question to get me started. The two sussex have not laid an egg since early November last year. They are only about 2 years old so I was hoping they would be laying for some time to come. They started laying right when they were meant to and laid an egg a day for several months. Then in November the white one had a bout of broodiness which we cured fairly quickly with an isolation ward but during this she upset the laying patterns of the others. Everyone else settled down eventually except for the black sussex, who seemed to go out in sympathy with the white one. Now neither of them has laid an egg since. They are both healthy, well-adjusted and have a healthy appetite - just no eggs. I wonder if anyone can help with why this might be and what I can do to get them laying again. It's been VERY hot here over the last few months - could that be it? The Barnevelder is fine though - laying 5 or so eggs a week. I have made sure they are not full of lice/mites, and wormed them for good measure also. They just look perfectly contented NOT laying eggs. Can this be possible??

Any insights would be great.

Thanks :)

Maria


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:10 pm 
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Fiesty Fowl
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Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:20 pm
Posts: 1195
Location: Thirlmere nsw
Welcome Maria, that's a tough question, they will be going through a moult soon and hopefully will begin to lay again. My bother in law had the same problem ten hens ranging in age from 1 to 3 years old and was only getting 2 eggs a week. So most weren't laying , after 8 months like this he said enough is enough and got rid of them all. I was at a loss as to why they wouldn't lay, nice red combs, wormed , well fed and good coop and run. I hope yours do start laying again as this can be so frustrating :aaargh: Maybe someone else with way more experience can offer suggestions.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:58 pm 
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Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2014 5:56 pm
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Hi and welcome :-) Are you sure you that they could not be laying elsewhere? You do not say if they have free ranging time, which I have found equals egg hiding time for some. If that is not a possibility could you have any egg eaters either amongst the hens or from elsewhere? There are a very large number of animals which will steal eggs and leave no evidence behind.

Otherwise it could just be the heat causing the heavy birds more stress and maybe after a moult they will start again. I do hope they start laying for you again soon.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:11 pm 
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Hatchling
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Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:50 pm
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Hi - thanks for the welcome and the responses :)

Yes, I forgot to mention that they free range for most of the day and I have found them laying under the lemongrass in the past!! But this time I've been watching them and since its been so hot, in the morning they make a bee line for a shady garden and basically don't move for most of the day. I'm pretty sure they are not going anywhere to lay eggs. They are quite big so I'm hoping it's just the heat (which has been oppressive) - in any case, I'd rather they didn't lay eggs if they need their strength just to survive the heat :) They are just lovely to have around.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:25 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
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Location: ACT area
Hi Maria and welcome to BYP.

My Sussex slow right down from mid Summer, then go into a moult which makes the place look like there has been a murder and then stop laying over the Winter. They lay well in the Spring and early Summer. The Barnevelders however are still laying - less but at least they are laying. Most laying occurs mid morning to early afternoon. It might be worth while confining them during that time for a couple of weeks to be sure that their eggs are not 'going astray'.
Could you give us some details about their diet as this can impact on laying performance?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:40 pm 
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Hatchling
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Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:50 pm
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Hi Old Mother Goose,

They are given 17% course layer mash (Jenco) in the morning - kept in their yard until about 7.30am and then let out to free range. The feed is available to them for most of the day although they don't seem to return to it very often. At around 4pm we give them 'treats' - usually fruit, veg, mixed with some yogurt - probably only between 1 and 2 cups between 5 birds. Sometime a hand full of sunflower seed or crushed nuts around 5.30pm - then they free range again until they take themselves off to bed around dusk. Is that too much? Not enough?? I do think that they are not eating as much (of anything) in the hot weather. We were going though more feed late last year than we are now.

Thanks :)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:48 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Location: ACT area
Can't see any problem with the diet. Sometimes a shortage of protein reduces laying but they have access to a good quality product.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:54 pm 
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Hatchling
Hatchling

Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:50 pm
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Sorry, sue55, not Old Mother Goose :)

Actually we have been giving them a little bit of mince each day for the past month - again only about a heaped tablespoon between 5 - I was worried about the protein also.


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