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@William buff, so you don't know how old the other chickens are, you moved them from another place to yours and you changed their diet?

Moving them and changing their diet will mess with chicken cycles. It can take a couple months for them to start laying again.

Do your older chickens look like they are losing feathers? It is a bit early but the stress may have thrown them into an early molt.

Did the previous owners keep their coop lit at night? That would make a difference too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
@William buff, so you don't know how old the other chickens are, you moved them from another place to yours and you changed their diet?

Moving them and changing their diet will mess with chicken cycles. It can take a couple months for them to start laying again.

Do your older chickens look like they are losing feathers? It is a bit early but the stress may have thrown them into an early molt.

Did the previous owners keep their coop lit at night? That would make a difference too.
They didn't keep the coop lit but I kept the same diet they where on but no molting is going on
 

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How old are they? Black Austrolorp start laying at 6-7 months of age: at least mine did. They lay well once they get going but they do not start laying as early as a Leghorn does.

Also my hens quit laying a week ago: they have started to moult. When chickens moult they often quit laying.

Laying hens need an 18% protein feed and most feed stores have 16% feed. That is why giving them the odd feed of cat food helps them to be good layers. That is also why a feed of grain will NOT help them lay. Corn is only about 9% protein, so if part of their food is 16% protein and part of their feed is 9% protein they will be indifferent layers.
 

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Hmmm. Not sure when or where I picked up the idea that without a rooster hens wouldn't do as well. Glad I asked!
I have heard that quite a few times. Several of the people I worked with thought you had to have a rooster to get eggs also. Even my neighbor, who now has chickens, thought she had to have a rooster to get eggs. Another woman who visited our place when we had ducks got an eyeful when a pair decided to mate right in front of her. She didn't know birds "diddled" as she called it. She thought they were like fish and the eggs fertilized after a clutch was laid.
 

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Your birds may be gearing up for molt. Start by making sure they aren't breaking their eggs or snakes/other critters aren't getting to the eggs before you.

Second, feed them a complete ration. Scratch is like running on donuts. Sure, you won't die right off, but you're missing out on of a whole lot of nutrition. I err on the higher protein end, 18-20% year round.
 

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My buddy was lamenting the fact his quit laying in the extreme cold of Ellensburg, Washington. I suggested he pick up one of those large containers of cayenne and mix a teaspoon into the feed. He tried it, they loved it, and they started laying again.

Now for the summer - dry ice? :p
 
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