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Author Topic: Chickens and Ducks not laying - have tried everything!  (Read 2311 times)

Em121

  • Joined Oct 2017
Chickens and Ducks not laying - have tried everything!
« on: October 10, 2017, 03:11:52 pm »
Hello! We have six pol chickens, five nearly POL chickens, one cockerel and nine Indian Runner Ducks but none are laying ANYTHING!

We've scrubbed the chicken house 'til you could eat your dinner off it, put cider vinegar and an all round chicken 'tonic' in their water. Feed them oyster shell, layers pellets, corn and some poultry spice. They get apples and potatoes and free range on two acres of grass during the day.

We've had chickens for nearly six years but have never had them ALL stop laying for so long- probably three months now so we know it's not a light issue and there are none of the normal moulting signs.

We've searched the hedges and have kept them in their pen to make sure they aren't sneaking off to lay somewhere.

Help!
Voss Electric Fence

Eve

  • Joined Jul 2010
Re: Chickens and Ducks not laying - have tried everything!
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2017, 08:05:41 am »
So:


You're expecting a cockerel to lay


You're expecting POLs to lay


You're expecting nearly-POLs to lay


And all 3 months early.






It's not the chicken run that needs examining...  :roflanim:


twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Chickens and Ducks not laying - have tried everything!
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2017, 09:59:20 am »
My mature hens tail off laying in August. POL hens normally come into lay for a short while then go off again. And nearly POL hens well... they aren't even ready to lay eggs ! Ducks lay earlier in the spring then tail off earlier than hens too. My ducks haven't laid properly since July. Potatoes aren't good for chickens unless they are cooked. It might be that you're filling them up with all sorts of other food and they aren't eating enough layers- during laying season mine get straight ad lib layers pellets and a few veg peelings but that's it. But I would say it's pretty normal  :thinking:

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Chickens and Ducks not laying - have tried everything!
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2017, 10:03:32 am »
Sounds normal to me. I wouldn't expect any ducks to lay until fed or march now. The POL hens, well they might lay but they might not until the spring. I wouldn't beat yourself up about it. Maybe buy some ex-commercial hens if you want eggs over this winter

Em121

  • Joined Oct 2017
Re: Chickens and Ducks not laying - have tried everything!
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2017, 10:07:30 am »
Blimey Eve aren't you a delight! Thanks for the helpful message. Of course we aren't expecting a cockerel to lay and I misused the term POL with regard to the existing chickens. They have been laying. I'm not expecting almost POL to lay eggs either. It was all put in there to give an overall scenario.

But if  you feel better pointing out mistakes to make someone asking for help feel a bit stupid, then more power to you!

So:


You're expecting a cockerel to lay


You're expecting POLs to lay


You're expecting nearly-POLs to lay


And all 3 months early.






It's not the chicken run that needs examining...  :roflanim:

Em121

  • Joined Oct 2017
Re: Chickens and Ducks not laying - have tried everything!
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2017, 10:10:45 am »
My mature hens tail off laying in August. POL hens normally come into lay for a short while then go off again. And nearly POL hens well... they aren't even ready to lay eggs ! Ducks lay earlier in the spring then tail off earlier than hens too. My ducks haven't laid properly since July. Potatoes aren't good for chickens unless they are cooked. It might be that you're filling them up with all sorts of other food and they aren't eating enough layers- during laying season mine get straight ad lib layers pellets and a few veg peelings but that's it. But I would say it's pretty normal  :thinking:

Thank you Twizzle. I shall stop fretting and imagining there is something wrong with them all! We've never had it happen before - when they all stop laying for so long-  so it just seemed a bit unusual. But will be patient and lay off the 'extras' in their food. We keep pigs too so it's easy to chuck a few (cooked) potatoes to the birds while feeding the pigs.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Chickens and Ducks not laying - have tried everything!
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2017, 10:16:25 am »
I would expect native, large, soft-feathered breeds hatched in May and June to begin laying next month and lay well until they moult or go broody next year.  You'll see their combs and wattles turning red as laying nears.  It can depend on breed, too.  My Dorkings generally begin laying around three weeks earlier than Wyandottes, for instance.  Chickens need protein to grow and make eggs.  Potatoes are filling them up on carbohydrate.

Em121

  • Joined Oct 2017
Re: Chickens and Ducks not laying - have tried everything!
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2017, 10:25:31 am »
I would expect native, large, soft-feathered breeds hatched in May and June to begin laying next month and lay well until they moult or go broody next year.  You'll see their combs and wattles turning red as laying nears.  It can depend on breed, too.  My Dorkings generally begin laying around three weeks earlier than Wyandottes, for instance.  Chickens need protein to grow and make eggs.  Potatoes are filling them up on carbohydrate.

Thank you for the advice. I know the 'chicks' (as we still call them) have a bit to go before we start getting eggs, it was more the older chickens who seemed to have all stopped laying at the same time. It's never happened in our six years of chicken keeping so I was concerned we weren't doing something or had missed something. I must have just been lucky in previous years :-)  They only get the odd spud when we boil up a pan for the pigs - they mostly free range in the grass and eat layers. Will be patient - keep feeding and watering them and see what happens.  :)

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Chickens and Ducks not laying - have tried everything!
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2017, 12:50:12 pm »
Blimey Eve aren't you a delight! Thanks for the helpful message. Of course we aren't expecting a cockerel to lay and I misused the term POL with regard to the existing chickens. They have been laying. I'm not expecting almost POL to lay eggs either. It was all put in there to give an overall scenario.

But if  you feel better pointing out mistakes to make someone asking for help feel a bit stupid, then more power to you!

So:


You're expecting a cockerel to lay


You're expecting POLs to lay


You're expecting nearly-POLs to lay


And all 3 months early.






It's not the chicken run that needs examining...  :roflanim:


Welcome to the Forum. I'm sure Eve didn't intend to sound mean. As the other posts show there is some good advice on here and I hope you stick around.

Em121

  • Joined Oct 2017
Re: Chickens and Ducks not laying - have tried everything!
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2017, 01:25:51 pm »
Blimey Eve aren't you a delight! Thanks for the helpful message. Of course we aren't expecting a cockerel to lay and I misused the term POL with regard to the existing chickens. They have been laying. I'm not expecting almost POL to lay eggs either. It was all put in there to give an overall scenario.

But if  you feel better pointing out mistakes to make someone asking for help feel a bit stupid, then more power to you!

So:

Thanks Harmony  :wave:

I regularly scan the forums and know the whole website to be very useful when I need advice I can't find in a book but decided to join and ask my own question this time!

I'm made of tougher stuff so the lovely Eve doesn't worry me. But I find it irritating that people seem to think it OK and very easy to hide behind a keyboard being unnecessarily mean. ('Mean' probably isn't the right word but I can't think of a better one right now!)  ::)





You're expecting a cockerel to lay


You're expecting POLs to lay


You're expecting nearly-POLs to lay


And all 3 months early.






It's not the chicken run that needs examining...  :roflanim:


Welcome to the Forum. I'm sure Eve didn't intend to sound mean. As the other posts show there is some good advice on here and I hope you stick around.

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Chickens and Ducks not laying - have tried everything!
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2017, 06:21:19 pm »
Have you given them a light in hen house to simulate longer day length?
I'd do that, Along with food and water. There are negatives to doing this; it's a stress on them, so you always want to give them a couple months off to moult, got to give them good quality food and it's said that they're don't lay for so many years. Maybe depends on size of their house as well, as they'll move about more with a light on and poo more too. Also it's better if lights on a dimmer so they have a chance to roost, or have it come on few hours before dawn, but that'll make your cockerel noisy. But you'll be more likely to get eggs sooner. Or just be patient, most pullets don't start laying till nearer six months or more, I've had May hatches come into lay November or December and go right through, maybe this will happen to yours?

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: Chickens and Ducks not laying - have tried everything!
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2017, 04:45:35 pm »
I don't agree with extra light - what that does is prolong the laying season but shorten their lives.

My rescue hens were all laying every day until about a week ago but now from 7 I'm getting about 4 or 5 eggs a day.  I have two older hens that stoppped laying at the end of last year.

I expect my two ducks to stop laying soon, I was getting two a day about a fortnight ago, but down to one a day now - alternate ducks as they are slightly diffrent coloured so I can tell which duck layed which day.

POLs quite often lay a few eggs then shut down for a few months depending on when they hatched.

Your nearly POLs probably won't lay till the days start getting longer.

Welcome to the forum.  Some people are abrupt, but they don't mean any ill.  I can  be very abrupt when talking about dogs, puppies and health issues.  I don't apologise for that.  Dogs are my passion  :eyelashes:
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

Em121

  • Joined Oct 2017
Re: Chickens and Ducks not laying - have tried everything!
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2017, 05:21:22 pm »
Happy to report that this morning we found two chicken eggs and four duck eggs in their respective houses! We think they must all have got together and decided to pull their fingers out!  ;D ;D

farmers wife

  • Joined Jul 2009
  • SE Wales
Re: Chickens and Ducks not laying - have tried everything!
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2017, 08:44:42 pm »
My light comes on around 4.30am and off at 8am.  Back on 4.30 off by 7pm.  Essential if you want eggs throughout the winter.  All my hens have been very healthy.  You need to do this asap to get their body clocks correct. I have 70 outdoors which will come inside to huge barn by the end of the month to keep them dry and happy.  Much easier to get simple light system.  An old strip light, extension cable and cheap timer.

northfifeduckling

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Fife
    • North Fife Blog
Re: Chickens and Ducks not laying - have tried everything!
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2017, 10:54:32 pm »
It was a unusually early moult this year and all went off their lay in September. Some ducks have started again recently, which is a nice treat at this time. It used to be springtime for the first duck eggs.

 

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