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HENS NOT LAYING FOR MONTHS !

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HENS NOT LAYING FOR MONTHS !

Postby lfreebs » 08 Jan 2010, 15:01

Hello everybody, after a long absence. I don't know what is happening to my little layers. My Welsummer laid her first egg in her first year on Christmas day 2007 and regularly laid 5,6 eggs a week until over four months ago then she stopped and she wasn't moulting, and hasn't had a full moult since she stopped. My Light Sussex suddenly stopped laying nearly four months ago, has had a full moult, but hasn't come back into lay. My RHR who was laying six a week until three months ago stopped, has had a part moult but is not laying again. Ditto with Dotty our Cuckoo Maran (who is a year older than the others) no eggs for over 3 months, but has had a good full moult. Hetty our, four year old Maran, stopped laying three or more months ago, has had a full moult, and is now laying just one or two a week. But our supereggproducer Buff Orpinton, Buffy, which belongs to my OH, has been laying consistantly for 11 months (with a few days off here and there for bouts of broodiness), hasn't moulted, and lays 5 (small) eggs a week. What are we doing wrong ? They were all laying really well until three or four months ago. They say that a fright can put them off laying, but for how long? Several months ago we needed to catch them to spray their legs with that anti mite stuff, in a relatively small (12x18 feet) run and were unsuccessful with the two Marans and the Welsummer as they are just WILD. Everybody was quite stressed when we gave up. Could it be that ? I really thought as the days have now started to lengthen that they would come back into lay. Has anybody any suggestions please ? Oh yes, we still haven't got rid of the leg mites under the scales of the three we couldn't catch. Has anybody any experience with the catching nets? and can they recommend a make ? Think we'll only buy incubator reared pols in future! Thanks
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Re: HENS NOT LAYING FOR MONTHS !

Postby girlracer265 » 08 Jan 2010, 15:08

could it be the mites stopping them laying and it would be best to treat them for this at dusk as they are going to bed and they are calm
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Re: HENS NOT LAYING FOR MONTHS !

Postby zng109 » 08 Jan 2010, 15:41

right you got horses ect so you should bewise to catching things.
my methods are simple.
1 dont chase anything! walk parrelel to it hurd from a distance.
2, "the lobster" a broom stick in each hand makes you a lot wider and makes moving annimals easyer
3, "the cowboy" tie a length of rope to a pole or a side of the run streach it accross the run and use it as a pivot to yourself to move things,
4, "the crush" using a rigid mesh pannel attached to the wall of the pen at a 45o angle the chickens will walk the edge of the run and get caught in the crush.#
generaly i have a policy of not chasing animals, because they are fast and also liable to panic and hurting themselves.
If it is scale mite you are having problems with, my friend uses diesel on his chickens legs, seems to work very well.

you may also want to try hand feeding them, mine are very domesticated and were field fowl to start with, They have layers pelets on tap, and water on tap, but treats like letice and veg they have to come and take from our hands, so are easy to catch an even hold.
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Re: HENS NOT LAYING FOR MONTHS !

Postby lfreebs » 09 Jan 2010, 15:00

Thanks to both of you for your replies. Could scaley leg mite stop them laying then ? One of the wildest hens Hettie (who would let me pick her up and move her outside into her run when she was brooding her eggs !) has the worst legs. But she, at least, is laying one or two eggs a week. Dottie, my other original hen, had the start of scaley mite when she came. The old boy I bought her from had to catch her with a net, despite his decades of experience, and she hasn't got any tamer the three years we have had her. We bought a spray scaley mite control, because we thought that would be easiest. I have heard too that paraffin is effective.
We didn't chase them, we were just calmly following them with arms outstretched. Once we had cornered them, or contained them between us they flew and flapped up the wire mesh [i]passing us and thus getting back past us, it was unbelievable how agile they were. None of them have clipped wings. Now Polly, who was relatively tame, is frightened of us since then.
We had wondered whether we could scoop them off their perches once they had been roosting for a while, but as the smell of the stuff seems quite noxious, we didn't want them sitting in their little coop all night breathing in those fumes ! Though there is a wire ventilation area at the front and back of the coop in the roof.
So am still rather at a loss as to the reason for the lack of eggs. Lookiing at my egg book I see that Winnie, the Welsummer who was a year old last July, hasn't laid for nearly 5 months! Will she ever lay again I wonder?
Any more advice would really be appreciated.

Many thanks Lynda
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Re: HENS NOT LAYING FOR MONTHS !

Postby tweedy » 09 Jan 2010, 15:43

Unless there scaly leg is extremely bad i can t see that affecting there egg laying, most breeds have a period of non-laying in the winter months. You need to handle your birds regularly for two reasons, 1 it makes life easier when you do need to treat them , 2 you can see if the bird has any ailments.........unless you got hundreds of birds then obvisiouly its not practical. Have they been wormed recently ? There seems be a million n one ways of treating scaly leg everybody has there personal way of treating it. I spray with wd40 and then smother the legs in vaseline. Never chase your birds either as zng said just gets worse each time. If you want tame friendly birds buy chicks, growers or breed your own. You need a piece of board to catch them and corner them quietly i dont like nets it stresses them too much i think.
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Re: HENS NOT LAYING FOR MONTHS !

Postby girlracer265 » 09 Jan 2010, 17:14

we used wd40 and vaseline on a light sussex we bought from auction just before christmas and noticed the legs after we got them of course lol and that worked perfectly,
good luck with your birds i hope they lay for you soon
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Re: HENS NOT LAYING FOR MONTHS !

Postby NannyP » 09 Jan 2010, 18:01

As a rule of thumb, if you have checked for red mite and others diseases and your hens are all fine then it's more than likely they've stopped due to low light levels during winter months.

Expect to get few or no eggs from about Guy Fawkes night, to Valentine's Day.

Bon chance :grin:
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Re: HENS NOT LAYING FOR MONTHS !

Postby Autumn » 09 Jan 2010, 20:35

Our 2 were like that...but because it's been so cold, we've upped the protein and given bits of sardine (plus oil) or a bit of beef cat food in with oats and poultry spice every day - as well as layers pellets.
An egg a day now! :grin:
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