Eggless wonders

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Tweetypie
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Eggless wonders

Post by Tweetypie » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:18 pm

Just checking if it is fairly normal for hens to go off lay in the hot weather. They didn't go off lay at all last year, which was far hotter and for longer, plus they didnt go off lay in winter, so this is quite a shock to me.

For 2 weeks, I have only been getting 2 eggs. Mabel seems to be laying all the time, Barbie and Miss Muffet every other day or two, Cindy hasn't laid an egg for possibly 10 days. Today there was one egg from Mabel. This is very unusual for my hens, who seem to lay all the time, except maybe skip one day a month.

They have the dustbath, in the sunshine, plus a very shaded and cool area in the corner, under a big tree, plus shade under the coop. I feed them Allen and Page small holder free range pellets and they have daily greens, occasional sweetcorn and occasional water melon.

All their combs are bright red, none appear lethargic, all have full feathers and I checked for lice. Not easy to check them as they hate being picked up. Am I missing anything off the checklist? I would hate to think something is wrong.

The ONLY change I have made is the bedding I use on the coop floor to catch their poo, so a cm deep on the floor around the edges. I don't use it in the nest boxes. https://www.cavierabedding.co.uk/cavier ... alavender/
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Marigold
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Re: Eggless wonders

Post by Marigold » Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:46 pm

The main change you've missed is that they're all a year older! From their second summer onwards they will slow down their lay whatever the weather, but particularly in hot conditions. They'll no doubt be thinking about a moult this year, and then they won't have any energy to produce eggs as well as new feathers. They're the lucky ones - commercial hens would be culled as soon as the slowdown began to happen.
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Tweetypie
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Re: Eggless wonders

Post by Tweetypie » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:00 am

Thank you Marigold. Its been such a worry for me. Barbie and Sindy had their moult late Autumn. I guess the other 2 will also have theirs this year. Another weird thing is that yesterday 2 eggs laid in a different nestbox. They all lay in the same one and have never, ever, used the other. Barbie always cockadoodles for half hour in the mornings, hasn't done for a week. I'm terrible for noticing things and worrying. At least they look ok. 🙂
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chrismahon
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Re: Eggless wonders

Post by chrismahon » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:11 am

Our hens are now ancient Tweetypie, but still laying a few. You may have heard of the recent heatwave in Europe which affected us as well. It hit 38C here and that immediately triggered all the layers to stop laying and in many cases they stopped eating as well. Now it's a lot cooler (30C) I've noticed many have also been triggered to an early moult. They are all eating now, but still no eggs- plenty of feathers though!
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Tweetypie
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Re: Eggless wonders

Post by Tweetypie » Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:32 pm

I don't know how you've coped in that heat Chris. Its ok if you are laid next to a pool in your bathing attire, but to go about your daily business.... Its no wonder your hens stopped laying. I think even the 23 degrees here has affected mine. The other 2 hens are only 14 months old. I'm just happy to know I don't need to worry 🙂.
Shadrach
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Re: Eggless wonders

Post by Shadrach » Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:21 am

They are still laying here in 35 degrees plus and what's worse, going broody. :-)09
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Tweetypie
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Re: Eggless wonders

Post by Tweetypie » Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:44 pm

OK people, I now have another issue. Today this is what we found in the nestbox. Can anyone understand the tiny egg. It is as big as a 10p.
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Marigold
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Re: Eggless wonders

Post by Marigold » Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:15 pm

They're called wind eggs, or in less polite circles, fart eggs.
See http://www.aviculture-europe.nl/nummers/07E03A06.pdf
-you'll learn a lot, most of which you'd rather not have known about!
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Tweetypie
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Re: Eggless wonders

Post by Tweetypie » Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:02 pm

Thank you Marigold :-)
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LadyA
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Re: Eggless wonders

Post by LadyA » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:02 am

Usually laid at start of lay, or when a hen is coming back in to lay after a break. Occasionally, I've had them from old hens, who later went on to develop peritonitis.
Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself!
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