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Author Topic: What to do when chickens stop laying???  (Read 4108 times)

Wood

  • Joined Jan 2011
What to do when chickens stop laying???
« on: October 19, 2013, 08:54:18 am »
Hi we have around 45 chickens of various ages. Even in the summer we were down to 10 eggs a day and obviously now they are slowing down with laying we will soon be down to none.

Whilst the wife would happily feed then till they die she doesn't pay for the feed!!

Question is what can we do with them? Don't fancy eating them myself!

Any suggestions please???
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happygolucky

  • Joined Jan 2012
Re: What to do when chickens stop laying???
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2013, 09:02:08 am »
Mine have all been re homed now as that would be my worry too, not sure how I would sort them out or what I would do with the carcus.
1 problem is you have to find out who is still laying, that's going to be a task....I suppose that's the reason the chicken farmers get rid of the battery hens as the cost becomes more than the profit....I know I would be in the same boat if I still had our chickens and they can live to a ripe old age if no predator gets them.
You could select a few and euthanize them  and if you have dogs or cats, pluck, draw and boil and feed the meat to them...not suitable for much else as it will be tough!!
Good luck
 

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: What to do when chickens stop laying???
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2013, 09:38:37 am »
By the time they've all stopped laying it will be difficult to determine which ones were the egg producers over summer. They will soon all be in a moult and look pretty grotty.
I can sympathise with both of you, having one year hatched out a lot of eggs and ending up with loads of young cockerels. They were pretty, and I enjoyed seeing them wondering about, but the feed bills were getting rediculous. In the end I got my stepson to shoot them. It was quick and painless. I didn't feel like eating them either, which seemed a waste. But they'd had a good free range life and their end was humane. And my feed bills were enormously reduced. Just throw the bodies away if you haven't a use for them. Or bury them reverently, but for heavens sake don't feed them for ever because yo feel guilty on that score. 
So, my suggestion would be to compromise with your wife and cull at least half. You can tell which ones are still laying by looking at their vents (where the egg comes out.) The ones in lay will have a much bigger aperture than the others, so put them on one side for keeping. Also, you must have some idea which ones never had a really red comb in summer - these want to be culled. then also choose those which have the longest spurs on their legs as they will be the oldest. That should give you some idea which to dispose of.
Of the ones you keep - they will be going into a moult now. Feed them well - and by  that I mean a proper feed of at least 16% protein, It takes a lot of protein to produce new feathers and if you feed  them properly they will be back in lay sooner. Also, if you start to give them artificial light at the beginning of Dec, increasing by a few minutes each day, then they will also start to lay sooner.
 Finally - you say you were only getting about 10 eggs from about 45 birds. Are you sure you were feeding them enough? It is false economy to economise on food. They need more or less ad lib or else they may only get enough for their maintenance, and not sufficient over that to produce eggs.
 
« Last Edit: October 19, 2013, 09:45:04 am by landroverroy »
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

taz08

  • Joined Oct 2012
Re: What to do when chickens stop laying???
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2013, 10:03:19 am »
why do u need to do anything .when my birds have stopped laying ,, they stay here till the naturel end
  only other option is to rehome them




fifixx

  • Joined Mar 2010
  • Shillingstone, Dorset
    • Bere Marsh Farm
Re: What to do when chickens stop laying???
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2013, 12:03:28 pm »
My 20+ are laying just 2 a day now from around 14 a day a month ago!

Various ages, 2 moulting wildly, tho others not yet.  We had a sudden red mite infestation last week which stopped them too I reckon, so check the henhouse just in case.

I am giving them a poultry tonic in the water, feed all the time in their feeder so they fill up, corn in the afternoon and I think I'll worm them and possibly de-louse this weekend and check for mites on them (frontline will kill the mites) so that if there is egg withdrawal, I won't lose out as they aren't laying.

Wood

  • Joined Jan 2011
Re: What to do when chickens stop laying???
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2013, 01:17:07 pm »
I think I could persuade the wife to stay a fresh with a new flock at the start of next summer then they will all be the same age.

I suppose question is how do I rehome or kill them?

Can I advertise them somewhere? Not bothered about any money for them?

What do we think?

fifixx

  • Joined Mar 2010
  • Shillingstone, Dorset
    • Bere Marsh Farm
Re: What to do when chickens stop laying???
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2013, 01:34:47 pm »
Kill them, pluck them and make proper chicken stock so you never have to buy that nasty nasty battery-hen Knorr stuff again....

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: What to do when chickens stop laying???
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2013, 01:47:50 pm »
We breed large, soft-feathered fowl, mostly Laced Wyandottes, Dorking, Speckled Sussex, and this is why we sell all the layers in their second year (labelled as such) and go through the Winter with the current year's stock.  The only birds we keep for an extra year are Narragansett turkeys, which stop laying over the Winter anyway as we don't provide additional lighting, and lay just as well in their second year.

taz08

  • Joined Oct 2012
Re: What to do when chickens stop laying???
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2013, 02:24:30 pm »
where are you wood ,, if close to me i can take them

Wood

  • Joined Jan 2011
Re: What to do when chickens stop laying???
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2013, 02:46:40 pm »
We are in Sheffield. We have 31 warrens, 7 bantoms, 12 ducks a few of which are male but the rest are 1 yr old girl ducks!!

I suppose this forum is probably the best place to offer them!! Never thought!.

Have done eggs today and there was 14 so not that bad for time off year.

So free to a good home but must take ALL of them to same home.

Thanks

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
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Re: What to do when chickens stop laying???
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2013, 03:47:57 pm »
That's a BIG ask to take all 45 to the same home.  I see no reason for that - it's not like dogs that become attached to each other. And some people would take hens but not ducks.  Rethink needed in my opinion. :innocent:
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

taz08

  • Joined Oct 2012
Re: What to do when chickens stop laying???
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2013, 04:23:35 pm »
aww thats a pity ,, way too far ,,  im east coat of scotland lol. 

Wood

  • Joined Jan 2011
Re: What to do when chickens stop laying???
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2013, 05:00:39 pm »
I know what you mean about taking all of them but if I am doing this I don't want any left at all. If I do it in dibs and drabs knowing my luck the laying hens will go first, not as many will want the male ducks and I might be left with the non laying older hens and the male ducks??


I don't know what is best?


Unless I find someone to come and kill them all and take them away??


Help!!

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: What to do when chickens stop laying???
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2013, 05:15:18 pm »
Adverise them free on freeads then. There's usually plenty of people on there wanting something for nothing.
However, if you care about them as living beings it would be better to let them go in dribs and drabs (as you put it) to people who know how many they can cope with, rather than offload them to the first person who agrees to take them all.
You might, surprisingly, find you actually find homes for them all anyway. :fc: 
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

CameronS

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • North East Fife
Re: What to do when chickens stop laying???
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2013, 05:36:27 pm »
try doing a ftgh on here?

 

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