Hen stopped laying

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11 years 9 months ago #32156 by eunicia
Hen stopped laying was created by eunicia
Hi

I posted a thread here about a month or so ago about my sussex that just died suddenly. I never really found out what was wrong with her and just hoped that it wasn't affecting our other 3 hens as well.

However the last few days we've noticed our GLW seems to be a bit less active that the other two (a plymouth rock and araucana). She has also stopped laying. I am now worried that she will end up like the sussex and the sussex also stopped laying a couple of weeks before dying.

Unfortunately Dairy Flat vet is closed when I noticed but I will be ringing them tomorrow for advice and maybe ask about getting something to put in their feed / water for parasites??

In the meantime I thought I'd ask ppl here for advice as to what else I should be doing or I should ask for when I talk to the vet clinic tomorrow. Anything else we should be feeding them? Mineral blocks etc? I read that if they are able to eat off the grass that they don't need much else in terms of supplementary feeds - is this the case?

My hens are about 9 months old. Haven't noticed any abnormal poos / bloody poos. The GLW does feel on the light side though..not sure how much but probably no more than 2kg. They are housed in an A-frame tractor and we let them out during the day. We just feed them the commercial chook food from rd1/falloons.

Appreciate any help though it is difficult to know for sure I guess without seeing the hen.. costs $25 to see the vet apparently.

Just don't want her or the other 2 remaining hens to all die!

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11 years 9 months ago #430035 by Simkin
Replied by Simkin on topic Hen stopped laying

eunicia;428267 wrote: Hi

I read that if they are able to eat off the grass that they don't need much else in terms of supplementary feeds - is this the case?

My hens are about 9 months old. Haven't noticed any abnormal poos / bloody poos. The GLW does feel on the light side though..not sure how much but probably no more than 2kg. They are housed in an A-frame tractor and we let them out during the day. We just feed them the commercial chook food from rd1/falloons.

Hens are omnivores and need a lot more than grass to eat. Especially at this time of year there is very little nutrition in grass so your chooks may be starving. No wonder your GLW has stopped to lay.

How much of the commercial chook food do you feed them per day?

I'd buy them some more food instead of seeing the vet.

If your GLW is a bit slow - have you checked her crop? If it is full in the morning she may be crop bound. If this is the case let us know - you can attempt to empty it yourself - the vet will operate and I don't think you want to face that bill.

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11 years 9 months ago #430042 by eunicia
Replied by eunicia on topic Hen stopped laying

Simkin;428284 wrote: Hens are omnivores and need a lot more than grass to eat. Especially at this time of year there is very little nutrition in grass so your chooks may be starving. No wonder your GLW has stopped to lay.

How much of the commercial chook food do you feed them per day?

I'd buy them some more food instead of seeing the vet.


Sorry Simkin I guess I didn't make myself very clear. We feed them commercial layer feed in a feeder that is available to them ALL THE TIME. The layer feed is the main part of their diet. In addition they can fossick in the grass. I haven't been giving them any grit or extra calcium based on the below quote from one the the LSB articles:

"Layers' mash usually contains sufficient calcium but if it is is not the major part of the diet it is important to provide extra calcium as above.

Insoluble grit consists of small stones and it is needed to assist with grinding down feed in the gizzard. Free-range hens can usually find enough of their own insoluble grit."

Will check the crop. thanks for your advice

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11 years 9 months ago #430048 by Simkin
Replied by Simkin on topic Hen stopped laying
Ok, they should be well fed then. I got concerend when I read this : ' I read that if they are able to eat off the grass that they don't need much else in terms of supplementary feeds - is this the case? '

They won't need insoluble grit (=small stones) for their gizzards if they are free ranging. Layer mash or pellets should contain everything else they need but they love to eat treats for variety.

A couple of days ago I've been told about a lady who had 12 pullets in a chook dome which was moved once per week and she didn't feed them anything - apart from what they could find on those 4 square metres they were allowed to forage on. She insisted they were 'permaculture chickens' and she had read that this is the proper way to keep them[:0]

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11 years 9 months ago #430052 by eunicia
Replied by eunicia on topic Hen stopped laying
Have checked the crop - no fullness that we could feel.
Can't feel anything unusual in the back end either...
What else can I / should I do?

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11 years 9 months ago #430053 by Simkin
Replied by Simkin on topic Hen stopped laying
It could be something that passes on its own or it could be something serious. If her crop is empty in the evening she hasn't eaten. Maybe putting her in a separate pen with food and water will give her the opportunity to eat undisturbed. If she doesn't eat there is not much you can do.

If it was a bacterial infection (that's the only thing where a vet can help) your other chooks would probably be down with it as well as bacterial infections tend to spread very quickly.

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11 years 9 months ago #430097 by Sue
Replied by Sue on topic Hen stopped laying
Perhaps they are just moulting?
This time of the year is pretty stressful for birds which are either growing or loosing feathers and having to cope with cold weather as well. If there are no obvious illness symptoms just ensure they have a warm, dry area to sleep in and perhaps offer some additional protein rich feed such as dog roll, to help with feather growth. Not laying during the shortest day length period of the year is normal.

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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11 years 9 months ago #430101 by eunicia
Replied by eunicia on topic Hen stopped laying
Thanks Sue. Is it worth giving them some worming stuff in their water anyway?

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11 years 9 months ago #430104 by Cinsara
Replied by Cinsara on topic Hen stopped laying

Sue;428356 wrote: Perhaps they are just moulting?
This time of the year is pretty stressful for birds which are either growing or loosing feathers and having to cope with cold weather as well. If there are no obvious illness symptoms just ensure they have a warm, dry area to sleep in and perhaps offer some additional protein rich feed such as dog roll, to help with feather growth. Not laying during the shortest day length period of the year is normal.

They are only 9 months old Sue so won't be moulting this year and should be laying through if they had started before winter. I agree with the warm dry area and additional feed, mine LOVE crumbed boiled egg yolks and warm cooked kernal corn when they're off colour. If they like bread and don't have the appetite to eat anything else, you could try a full grain bread, it's not optimum nutritionally but at least it will keep things moving.

>

Save the Earth... it's the only planet with chocolate!

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11 years 9 months ago #430126 by Simkin
Replied by Simkin on topic Hen stopped laying

eunicia;428360 wrote: Thanks Sue. Is it worth giving them some worming stuff in their water anyway?

If you use Aviverm then you'll have to discard the eggs they lay for a fortnight.

Worms are only very rarely a problem. If you are unsure give them a few pumpkin seeds (the green ones from the bulk bin at the supermarket) and check their poos the next morning. If there are worms in the poos (they'll be obvious) then yes, worming them will be a good idea.

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11 years 9 months ago #430128 by Simkin
Replied by Simkin on topic Hen stopped laying

Sue;428356 wrote: Perhaps they are just moulting?
This time of the year is pretty stressful for birds which are either growing or loosing feathers and having to cope with cold weather as well. If there are no obvious illness symptoms just ensure they have a warm, dry area to sleep in and perhaps offer some additional protein rich feed such as dog roll, to help with feather growth. Not laying during the shortest day length period of the year is normal.

Hi Sue,

how was your trip?

I'm with Cinsara on this one - at 9 months old they should lay - well, at least mine are, had 3 more pullets start to lay during the past week[^], one Cochin pullet has been laying rock solid an egg a day for the past 7 weeks (including 2 double yolkers). [^][^]

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