Thursday, January 7, 2010

Lacking the Visual Aids

Well, Mike managed to leave the camera in my mom's car....which is now an hour and a half away.  So I cannot take any new pics or down load the ones already on the camera.  But I didn't want that to keep me from posting.  So I am posting today without any pictures to show you guys.  I have a number of hens that should be laying right now, even with the cold weather.  A friend of mine that works for the same company as I do also has chickens.  He is getting eggs from his, but I have not gotten a single egg since before Thanksgiving.  That's about a month and a half without eggs.  I have been feeding them well a mix of layer pellets and scratch grains.  I know there's not a lot of day light now, but I should be getting something!  Well, someone better start laying soon, or I will have farmer come over and dress a few for the dinner plate! 

So with all that in mind, he (my friend) was asking how many hens I have that should be laying.  I didn't have an accurate count, so I grabbed a note pad and tried to count them.  If I'm not missing anyone I have counted 9 roosters and 35 hens.  But some of the hens are not of laying age quite yet.  I have 22 hens that should be of laying age, including 5 or 6 Black Sex Links (known good layers).  With 22 hens of laying age, shouldn't I be getting a couple of eggs a day? 

Here's about what I have:
Silkies: 1 white rooster; 1 white hen; 1 blue rooster; 1 blue hen (white hen lays, blue hen is one-eyed and may not lay)
Orpingtons: 1 buff rooster, 1 black rooster, 5 buff hens; 1 black hen (all laying age)
Sex Links: 6 black hens (laying age)
White Cornish Rocks: 5 white hens (laying age)
Rhode Island Red: 1 rooster (pea comb)
RI Red/ White Rocks: 5 hens; 1 rooster (Little Chicken)
RI Red/Buff: 5 hens (not laying age)
Dominique (I think): 1 rooster
Cuckoo Maran: 1 rooster (Bojangles)
Mixed Bantams: 1 rooster; 5 hens (2 laying age)

17 comments:

mutteringsfromthemoor said...

Are your hens moulting perhaps? All of our year old hens are going through their first moult so have stopped laying. Seems a crazy time of year to lose the warmth of your feathers, but hey, what do I know?!

And I presume you know how to check if a hen is in lay or not by feeling her pelvic bones?

So, we're both home alone tonight. My husband is looking after his mum. She had to have her broken arm re-broken and reset today as it wasn't healing properly.

Glad you liked my photo, love your caption!! :)

Dave said...

Hey Mike -

Considering that you were getting eggs earlier, I can think to two things: After they molt, it sometimes takes them a little while to get started. Check their combs. Laying hens are usually bright "blood" red colored and nonlayers are usually paler - almost pink. (Except for the black skinned ones like the Silkies). The second thing, is to consider that "someones" have become egg eaters! You might try placing a couple of dummy eggs (or hard boiled ones) in their favorite nest to see if they get the idea - even a light colored egg sized rock may work.

FYI my 15 hens went from a nearly dozen or so per day down to 3-4 since winter set in. Fortunately they did molt all at once or heavily so many are still laying.

Dave

Foothills Poultry said...

Eggs? Hens are supposed to lay those?

I have a bunch of freeloaders this winter. I have 55+ hens and got 5 eggs today. Now granted alot of my birds are 3+ years old. I am replenishing the layer flock next year. I can't go through another winter with angry egg customers.

~~Matt~~

Chickens in the Basement said...

Okay, I'm feeling better. I thought my girls were laying outside the hen house. In September, I found a huge pile of eggs under a bush in the front yard and thought the girls were still pretending it was Easter. Three of my girls will be 3 in April, so maybe I shouldn't count on them to produce. It is really looking like Hazel is going to cock-a-doodle-doo any day now, no matter how much I tell him he's a girl. So, that leaves poor Chrissy to lay enough eggs for the four of us. I think I'll be placing an order soon!

Post photos when you retrieve the camera. I would love to see your flock! Are they free range?

Anna

Callie said...

Out of 17 hens I only got one egg today and somedays none. I didn't know about checking the pelvic bones so I did a search and found this:

http://books.google.com/books?id=mUByWRHMCUoC&pg=PT336&lpg=PT336&dq=chickens+feel+pelvic+bones+lay&source=bl&ots=ZyRa9-I6vG&sig=pa7NSkcXFA33W9Vg-0HXgHk2K9Q&hl=en&ei=jcJGS7PyLYTasgOq6a31Dw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=9&ved=0CCUQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=&f=false

Good grief! That is a long URL. Well, it tells about the pelvic bones, etc., there. I think I could profit by reading the dummies book. LOL

I know it made a difference in egg production (I got 4 one day) after I fed the hens fat ham hock skin. We are feeding organic chicken lay feed and they free range. Maybe I should start feeding the chickens worms or bacon? LOL

I love the silkies, but they don't do well here. It's too hot in the Summer and too cold in the winter. Looking forward to seeing photos of your flock. Hope everyone is well or getting better fast.

RiverBend Farm said...

If your black sex links are of age, they should be laying. I have an assortment of Ameracaunas, black sex link (only 2 left after the hawk feasted), brown sex link and gold sex link. For some strange reason, I'm getting tons of eggs. I've got 20 hens and am getting 15-18 eggs a day even with the weather being terribly cold. I also have the rooster separated from the hens right now. Go figure...
Berte

John Gray jgsheffield@hotmail.com said...

i never worry about eggs....
as long as the hens are wormed, healthy and fed well, they will eventually lay in fits and starts...
sudden changes in weather and the change of light will affect them too I always think.
my 30 layers dropped off to around 10 eggs daily a couple of weeks ago, and now , even though its snowing I am getting 15-18 a day
if you have buffs give them up in winter, they drop off eggs drastically as do my old girls...
keep warm randy!!

farmlady said...

Threats, threats, threats! They don't
work with chickens. I tried the "You will be dinner if you don't lay some eggs." threat and it didn't work. We haven't gotten eggs since last Fall. I think that our ladies are getting too old. We need new chicks this Spring.
Wish I had an good answer....

houndini said...

WOW I'm so impressed that so many you have chickens and know SO much! My partner and I dream about having chickens one day - I know where to come when I need to find out some more info for sure ;-)

Tracey said...

I'm like a big cream cake.....naughty but nice! ...

bad penny said...

I'm still getting three eggs from four hens but they've slowed down in the snow.

Thanks for all your comments - I remember when you were wondering to Blog or not to blog ! xx

♥ Amy ♥ said...

We had soooo many eggs in the summer we didnt know what to do with them then as it started turning cold we have not had one from any of them but yesterday we went out and there were 5...I think 3 of which are from the orpingtons which apparantly are good layers in the winter. xxx

Nancy K. said...

Well, I got 5 yesterday as well ~ but 2 of them were FROZEN by the time I collected them! And I check for eggs 3 or 4 times a day!

Damn Minnesota winters!

;-)

LemonyRenee' said...

Only 1 of the 4 hens we have is laying. They were all chicks this past spring. ??? The one laying is a black star hybrid. The others are an Easter egger, a cochin, and seabright. None of them are supposed to be the greatest layers, but NONE, ever??

Is it possible that the alpha-chicken (star) is eating the others' eggs, but leaving her own???

I'm confused. Totally.

My sympathies to you all with your non-laying issues. I know how befuddled I am and my hens are mostly pets.

mutteringsfromthemoor said...

Hi Randy, just thought I'd check to see how your mother is doing....is she feeling better?

Sara said...

You have such an enviable collection of chooks there! Out of 22 hens I am getting about 9-12 eggs per day even with snow on the ground. Have you tried adding a supplement like Poultry Spice to the pellets? It really helps them regain condition after moulting. Hope you get some yummy eggs soon.

Farm Chick Paula said...

My big hens have all but quit too, Randy- they always do this time of year. Not enough sunlight messes with their cycle. (Woman thang.) My Silkies, on the other hand, are still popping out cackle fruit daily, despite the fact that they do not thrive in cold weather. Try boiling some old eggs and feeding back to your girls... (I crush them, shell and all) maybe that will kick-start the egg-laying parts.