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Leghorns not laying... What to check before killing them.

 
Posts: 27
Location: Just outside of Asheville, NC
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Hi, I am interested in people's views on something going on with our small flock. We have two leghorns and for a couple months  have been getting only one white egg per day. I thought one hen was laying her egg somewhere else, or possibly eating it (though I have never found any evidence of egg eating and have now started supplementing with Oyster shell just in case) but now we are getting only one white egg every 4 days or so. Our Americauna lays like clockwork and we get 3-4 brown eggs daily from our 5 dual purpose birds, so why would the leghorns (which are supposed to be the layingest chickens out there) have stopped? They were all hatched early this year, and I've had them all in a run for a few days to be sure she's not laying somewhere else. Is there anything else I should check/try before writing them off?
 
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Posts: 219
Location: Morongo Valley
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It may be that it's too far into winter for them to kick it into high gear.  Do you use lights with your birds, to extend daylight?  I haven't done that myself, and it seems unnatural, but that is how those extreme egg layers, like leghorns, are made to produce year round.

Another possibility.  I've had leghorns, too, back in my "efficiency-minded" days.  (Now I get animals that are also really pleasant and make me smile, whether or not they are the best producers.  I also grow more flowers.)  The leghorns tended to be flighty and jumpy.  When they were in with other hens, even just Rhode Island reds, they were at the bottom of the pecking order, and got the least food.

Good luck with your chickens!
 
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Since I don't use supplemental light, many of my hens don't lay during the winter. But come the end of January, they normally start laying eggs just about every day again.
 
Jessica Milliner
Posts: 27
Location: Just outside of Asheville, NC
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Thanks guys. We were supplementing with light earlier in the fall but since stopping it all the other chickens (especially our Americauna, she's a machine!) have carried on just as they were, which is why I find it so weird that these two have stopped. Don't think pecking order is an issue, they seem to be right under my rooster.

Kim i know what you mean about leghorns, I've already been fantasizing about what lovely breeds I could replace them with! Not the best personality, and no meat on them to boot.
 
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