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No eggs for a week

 
elle sagenev
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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And I have about 20 chickens, I'd estimate, I don't actually know. What the heck.... I'm even feeding them a few times a week. We have grasshopperagedon so I've been saying I won't feed them until I can move without stepping on a grasshopper. I changed my mind in the hopes of getting eggs and still..........nothing. What to do??

I usually suspect my meat animals of eating them. I have 2 turkeys right now who MIGHT be eating them. Ideas?
 
Roberta Wilkinson
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Could they have found an awesome new nest site and be hoarding all the eggs there? We had an incident like that, where we thought production was way down, then found a heap of eggs on top of an old stump about 6 feet off the ground concealed by the branches of another tree.
 
elle sagenev
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Roberta Wilkinson wrote:Could they have found an awesome new nest site and be hoarding all the eggs there? We had an incident like that, where we thought production was way down, then found a heap of eggs on top of an old stump about 6 feet off the ground concealed by the branches of another tree.


Always a possibility and we do free range. They have their usual spots though and we've checked them all, nothing.
 
Tracy Kuykendall
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If your other birds were eating them you would find evidence, they like the inner but leave the outer. Could be several things going on, overweight hens don't lay as much, moulting birds really slow down laying. Four legged varmints will carry off a lot more eggs than you'd think. Without being onsite the best I can do is expound my vast knowledge as fast and clearly as my two little fingers can.
 
Angelika Maier
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could be rats too or snakes. But if they either mould or have lice (or similar kritters) they don't lay. We used something which is called diac.....(difficult word) earth which helps against lice.
 
Bill Erickson
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Angelika Maier wrote:could be rats too or snakes. But if they either mould or have lice (or similar kritters) they don't lay. We used something which is called diac.....(difficult word) earth which helps against lice.


diatomaceous earth - yes, a difficult way of saying fossilized diatoms
 
Adam Hoar
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Normally when we have a drop off in eggs for several days at a time they are laying them in another area for one reason or another...
 
Nicole Alderman
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I don't know if this applies, but I remember reading Julie Bernhardt say that her ducks stopped laying when they started munching on the greens of a tomato plants (http://www.permies.com/t/16129/ducks/duck-pond-water-fodder-fertilizer). My ducks have recently pretty much stopped laying (11 ducks of laying age giving us an average of 2 eggs a day), and I realized that they have demolished the potato plants both in my compost and in my garden. I'm hoping that by fencing those areas off, and getting the nightshades out of their diet, they'll start laying again.

If your chickens have access to your compost with potatoes sprouting in it, or to your potatoes or tomatoes, perhaps that's affecting their laying?
 
elle sagenev
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Nicole Alderman wrote:I don't know if this applies, but I remember reading Julie Bernhardt say that her ducks stopped laying when they started munching on the greens of a tomato plants (http://www.permies.com/t/16129/ducks/duck-pond-water-fodder-fertilizer). My ducks have recently pretty much stopped laying (11 ducks of laying age giving us an average of 2 eggs a day), and I realized that they have demolished the potato plants both in my compost and in my garden. I'm hoping that by fencing those areas off, and getting the nightshades out of their diet, they'll start laying again.

If your chickens have access to your compost with potatoes sprouting in it, or to your potatoes or tomatoes, perhaps that's affecting their laying?


There are about 4 tomato "bushes" that were unfenced and while they had been left alone all summer they have now been demolished by the flock. Interesting.........
 
Nicole Alderman
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Have your chickens started laying again yet? My ducks still haven't started back up (we're getting 1 egg a day now, if we're lucky ). Here's hoping our birds get their acts together and start making us some eggs!
 
elle sagenev
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Nicole Alderman wrote:Have your chickens started laying again yet? My ducks still haven't started back up (we're getting 1 egg a day now, if we're lucky ). Here's hoping our birds get their acts together and start making us some eggs!


Someone is eating them for sure. We were on vacation for a week and my MIL was feeding the birds. She found eggs when she'd go at noon. I usually don't get to check until I get off work at 5. So someone is eating them. I think I might stick to a flock cull.
 
elle sagenev
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Yup. Confirmed that someone is eating them. Found the wet shells. I'm going to cull the flock. I have babies to start over with next year and my freezer really could use more filling anyway. Now to talk my husband into it.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Ah man, that stinks. At least you get some meat out of the deal.

My ducks haven't laid for three days. And, to make matters worse, yesterday we were 30 minutes late getting home, and now three of our layers are "missing." . So, even if we fixed the other reasons they stopped laying, them being freaked out because of predators surely won't help their egg-laying, either. Aaaand, we're short layers now, too. I keep forgetting that fall is a really horrible time to be late putting the ducks away. We lost a duck last year about the same time of the year when we didn't get them put away in time.
 
elle sagenev
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Nicole Alderman wrote:Ah man, that stinks. At least you get some meat out of the deal.

My ducks haven't laid for three days. And, to make matters worse, yesterday we were 30 minutes late getting home, and now three of our layers are "missing." . So, even if we fixed the other reasons they stopped laying, them being freaked out because of predators surely won't help their egg-laying, either. Aaaand, we're short layers now, too. I keep forgetting that fall is a really horrible time to be late putting the ducks away. We lost a duck last year about the same time of the year when we didn't get them put away in time.


Sorry to hear that! I don't normally have coyote problems while the dogs are out but we bring the dogs in at night and then.....if the birds aren't locked up we always lose them. Always sad.
 
Justin Rhodes
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If they're more than a year old, they're probably molting (loosing their feathers and growing new ones).

This is a totally natural cycle that happens in the fall.

Eggs, like veggies and fruit, and everything else has a natural season.

During the molt, the chickens are using their energies to grow those feathers for the coming winter.

It may or may not pick up again for a while, as winter (with the lack of daylight) will also naturally slow egg production.

You can help them during molt by providing lots of protein (which you are). Sounds like you're doing all you can.
 
Nicole Alderman
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elle sagenev wrote:
Nicole Alderman wrote:Ah man, that stinks. At least you get some meat out of the deal.

My ducks haven't laid for three days. And, to make matters worse, yesterday we were 30 minutes late getting home, and now three of our layers are "missing." . So, even if we fixed the other reasons they stopped laying, them being freaked out because of predators surely won't help their egg-laying, either. Aaaand, we're short layers now, too. I keep forgetting that fall is a really horrible time to be late putting the ducks away. We lost a duck last year about the same time of the year when we didn't get them put away in time.


Sorry to hear that! I don't normally have coyote problems while the dogs are out but we bring the dogs in at night and then.....if the birds aren't locked up we always lose them. Always sad.


We lost another one today. I went out to put them away before it was even getting dark, and noticed another of our Golden 300 ducks was missing. It hard to know what predator got them (we have bobcats, dogs, coyotes, cougars, bears, hawks and owls). It's always our largest ducks that go missing, not the slowest ducks (we have two that limp and are slower than others). There's also no remains, so I'm thinking it's likely an owl, especially since we have a tall electric fence.

The ducks have plenty of places to hide (1/3rd of their enclosure is tall salmonberries), and they always hide if they spot a hawk soaring, but I think they're getting caught unaware. Sigh. Looks like I'll be putting the ducks away REALLY early from now on!
 
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