I really need some help.
i have kept chickens for about 5 years now. about 2.5 years ago Mr fox came and disposed of my 6 girls, as a family it took us a little while to get over it but we did and bought a few hens from a poultry farm, fully vaccinated and when they came into lay they laid well. i also bought a few from an auction house that were older girls but thought i would let them live out their years in peace, they didn't lay many eggs but we were fine with that. Last Easter we set up an incubator and hatched our own chicks which was so exciting for all involved.
Hubby has never had and never will have any interest in the chickens so me and the kids are on our own with it.
currently in total i have 12 birds in the garden,2 boys and 10 girls varying ages. 3 probably about 4 years old very few eggs, 4 who are in their second year of laying and 3 new girls who were hatched in May last year - of these i think one has actually laid an egg.
i have not had one egg since the 30th October and am feeling thoroughly depressed. A week or so after the eggs stopped i noticed that one or 2 of them had bubbles in their eyes and the odd chicken was sneezing, then a few of them had a molt.
i put the lack of eggs down to molting and wondered if maybe they had a cold, do chickens get colds? their combs went a dull pink but a few of these have now reddened up again. i just don't know what to do they are eating running around etc all as normal their behaviors and characters have not changed just no eggs. i am now beginning to wonder if i should get rid of them. they bring me such joy and i do love them but with no eggs......
i also discovered in the last week that i think there are rats getting into the side of the run that butts up against a neighbors garden so that another thing to deal with.
any advice regarding the lack of eggs i would be so extremely grateful as i do so love keeping chickens