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Changing food and moulting

 
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Woo



Joined: 19 Sep 2011
Posts: 766
Location: Mayenne, Pays de Loire
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 16 8:40 am    Post subject: Changing food and moulting  Reply with quote    

I have a field covered with feathers, no eggs and grumpy hens.
it has been this way for a while now.
it could be there is a stash yet to be discovered in the impenetrable brambles, but combs are dull and expectations low.
there are 2 factors that anecdotal evidence suggest are to blame.
it has been stupid hot and dry here for a month, not my theory, that of a neighbour. (remember I am in the land of experts on all matters rural
)
the other is I changed their food to a very appetising looking mixed feed with chunky grains, from layers pellets. I am feeding young birds so decided to go for something they could all have as they live together.
My Dad, childhood chicken keeper, says it because I changed the food. he keeps racing pigeons and uses the technique to force a moult when he wants them to get on with it!


they are now fed separately as conveniently the young birds have moved themselves into a large clappier at night so they get growers food and get out before the old bags... birds...

I had to buy eggs, pay money for them....in the summer...!!!

what are your thoughts oh wise poultry wranglers?

mousjoos



Joined: 05 Jun 2006
Posts: 1972
Location: VERY Sunny SW France
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 16 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Same explanation here

Too hot & dry

I get 3 eggs a day if I'm lucky. Ducks haven't laid for weeks; most chooks can't be arsed. Geese just stand & look at me....not their season anyway, but they seem to think, I think they have the answer.

Another week or so to come of this weather so "il faut faire avec" as they say in Germany.

Woo



Joined: 19 Sep 2011
Posts: 766
Location: Mayenne, Pays de Loire
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 16 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

thank you.

Green Rosie



Joined: 13 May 2007
Posts: 10490
Location: Calvados, France
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 16 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mine are pretty much off lay with no change in food here - just the hot dry weather to blame.

Woo



Joined: 19 Sep 2011
Posts: 766
Location: Mayenne, Pays de Loire
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 16 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

breggsxit,if you ask me!!!

Green Rosie



Joined: 13 May 2007
Posts: 10490
Location: Calvados, France
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 16 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Woo wrote:
breggsxit,if you ask me!!!



mousjoos



Joined: 05 Jun 2006
Posts: 1972
Location: VERY Sunny SW France
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 16 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Woo wrote:
breggsxit,if you ask me!!!


that's awful.......

Bodger



Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 13458

PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 16 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

My chicken egg production has also come to a grinding halt but I put that down to the age of my chickens, rather than to the time of the year. I had a bit of a heart scare last summer and had to pull the plug on my incubator, so last year was the first year in decades that I didn't hatch any chickens.
As long as you keep 'proper' laying chickens, then IMO the age of your birds and where they are in the egg laying cycle, is one of the major players as to whether they are laying or not. Early in the year hatched pullets should lay for you throughout the summer, while late hatched ones should give you winter eggs. A chicken only has so many eggs in it per season, its good husbandry that ensures that you get the full potential from them. Hot sunny weather definitely produces lots of traditional breeds to go broody but they can be broken of this and got back on track.
There are obviously other things as well that you need to do for them to keep them laying, such as extra light and a calm relaxing life style without change or upset.
Growing birds and laying birds both need a fairly high protein diet.

Woo



Joined: 19 Sep 2011
Posts: 766
Location: Mayenne, Pays de Loire
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 16 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Bodger wrote:
My chicken egg production has also come to a grinding halt but I put that down to the age of my chickens, rather than to the time of the year. I had a bit of a heart scare last summer and had to pull the plug on my incubator, so last year was the first year in decades that I didn't hatch any chickens.
As long as you keep 'proper' laying chickens, then IMO the age of your birds and where they are in the egg laying cycle, is one of the major players as to whether they are laying or not. Early in the year hatched pullets should lay for you throughout the summer, while late hatched ones should give you winter eggs. A chicken only has so many eggs in it per season, its good husbandry that ensures that you get the full potential from them. Hot sunny weather definitely produces lots of traditional breeds to go broody but they can be broken of this and got back on track.
There are obviously other things as well that you need to do for them to keep them laying, such as extra light and a calm relaxing life style without change or upset.
Growing birds and laying birds both need a fairly high protein diet.


thanks bodger.
they should be happy. they live in a large safe(ish)field. there is plenty to amuse them. age is probably a factor. I have had 2 successful broods this year from the younger girls. I lost my oldest cockerel a month or so ago. some of the hens are 4 years old now so may be empty of egg cells. I will be having a cull later in the autumn and keep the best of the hens. I will try for a cockerel exchange with some of the locals perhaps to inject some new blood.

Bodger



Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 13458

PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 16 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It sounds like a plan.
I've got a few lovely old ladies here that I should really move on but every time I reach for the recipe book they manage to eke out a few more eggs.

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