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Not laying

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I have 3 hens not quite a year old.  They started laying eggs sometime near the end of January.  I was getting 2 or 3 eggs every day.  About a month ago I was down to 1 to 2 eggs a day.  We discovered our hen, Betty, was flying out of the fence and laying her eggs under some brush at the edge of the lawn.  We have since clipped her wing so she can't get out any more.  We had 2 roosters that seemed to be pretty rough on our hen, Miss Prissy.  Her back was bald from mating.  We got rid of the roosters.  We thought that would fix our eggs issues.  However, for the past week I've gotten no eggs at all.  They aren't molting as they haven't lost any feathers besides what was already missing from the mating. No signs of sickness, they are just as active as they always have been.  The only change is the roosters are gone and now Betty can't "fly the coop".  haha!  Any ideas what the problem might be?

post #2 of 4
It could still be stress, but my guess is they are hiding eggs. You can check their vents and bodies to see if they are laying to begin with.

If you can get a hold of them and flip them, a laying hen has a red or pink vent that appears to be slightly or sometimes VERY open, and wet. There should be a sheen. Her abdomen will be soft. Not her breast, her abdomen.

A non laying hen will have a whiter/light light pink, tight looking vent, and it will be dry in appearance. Their abdomens are firm. If you google it, there ae abulous pictures here and on other sites.

If they are laying, you've got hiders. If they aren't laying, you probably have stress or disease. Stress can be from the rearranging of the flock, changing of feed, drastic change in temps, or a predator. Diseases can be all kinds of things!
post #3 of 4

Lock em up for a week.

 

Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop for 3-4 days can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests.  Fake eggs/golf balls in the nests can help 'show' them were to lay. They can be confined to coop 24/7 for a few days to a week, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks!  I really think it's probably stress.  There isn't anywhere for them to be "hiding" eggs.  The 2 white hens have never been able to get out of the fence and Betty can't now wither since we clipped her wing.  The only place they could lay is in the fenced in area or the coop.  Besides the nesting boxes the coop is wide open.  I've checked in and around those and haven't found anything.  

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