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Why Aren't My Chickens Laying? Here Are Your Answers!

post #1 of 801
Thread Starter 

In fall/winter, especially, this question is sometimes asked several times a day. The article has your answers!

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/20763/pnw565.pdf

Generally, your answers are:

Decreasing day length
Molt
Broodiness
Flock health
Age
Poor nutrition
Stress

See article for the full explanation of each cause.


Adding articles to supplement the first one since some don't feel it was entirely correct--the main problem is that you can't generalize about all hens, but you have to consider the general information as your starting point. The basic causes listed are correct.

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps029
http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/723/troubleshooting-egg-production-problems


Edited by speckledhen - 12/1/10 at 1:52pm

   www.blueroocreations.com, where every artisan is a veteran or the spouse of a veteran, is moving!

Blue Roo Creations Etsy Shop is open for business during the move! Click Here!

Mountain View Heritage Poultry, Home of Nazi Rooster & The One Spur Wonder

URGENT! Always Quarantine Newly Purchased Birds!
~A dog on its owner's property is a pet; A dog on someone else's property is a predator~

 
 

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   www.blueroocreations.com, where every artisan is a veteran or the spouse of a veteran, is moving!

Blue Roo Creations Etsy Shop is open for business during the move! Click Here!

Mountain View Heritage Poultry, Home of Nazi Rooster & The One Spur Wonder

URGENT! Always Quarantine Newly Purchased Birds!
~A dog on its owner's property is a pet; A dog on someone else's property is a predator~

 
 

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post #2 of 801

I looked at the title and wondered why Speckledhen was asking this question.  lol

You might not be able to keep a bird from landing on your head but you can keep it from building a nest.

"My doctor says that I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes."
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You might not be able to keep a bird from landing on your head but you can keep it from building a nest.

"My doctor says that I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes."
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post #3 of 801
Quote:
Originally Posted by dacjohns 

I looked at the title and wondered why Speckledhen was asking this question.  lol


I had the same thought.  smile

Wonderful link; thanks.

Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

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Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

Reply
post #4 of 801

Great link. Thanks.

Yeah, I've seen many threads/querries about low or no production. Glad to say on my part that this back yard experiment is going great.

The article mentioned we'll see drop after first 10 weeks and I'll be looking for that. Keep a daily log on the calender. Of the 4 laying it's been 6 eggs per week or better and that's with a barred rock  wink

Even chickens dare to hatch an egg.
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Even chickens dare to hatch an egg.
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post #5 of 801
Thread Starter 

Just remember, hens are not vending machines. They are living creatures that are affected by all sorts of external and internal stressors/cues. We are not at 100% capacity every single day and neither are they. smile

   www.blueroocreations.com, where every artisan is a veteran or the spouse of a veteran, is moving!

Blue Roo Creations Etsy Shop is open for business during the move! Click Here!

Mountain View Heritage Poultry, Home of Nazi Rooster & The One Spur Wonder

URGENT! Always Quarantine Newly Purchased Birds!
~A dog on its owner's property is a pet; A dog on someone else's property is a predator~

 
 

Reply

   www.blueroocreations.com, where every artisan is a veteran or the spouse of a veteran, is moving!

Blue Roo Creations Etsy Shop is open for business during the move! Click Here!

Mountain View Heritage Poultry, Home of Nazi Rooster & The One Spur Wonder

URGENT! Always Quarantine Newly Purchased Birds!
~A dog on its owner's property is a pet; A dog on someone else's property is a predator~

 
 

Reply
post #6 of 801

Thank you for the link.  Very good article.  For us newbies it is nice to know what to expect.  smile

Deb - with 3 wonderful boys (er young men),  maverick genius DH, 1 'Cocker Spanisha girl', 1 Great Pyr,  and 19 hens, 2 roosters.  Bees started in the hives.  5 alpacas, 1 guardian llama, 4  Nigerian Dwarf does and 4 Icelandic lamb ewes.  Life is good. 

No matter where you go, there you are.  BB

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Deb - with 3 wonderful boys (er young men),  maverick genius DH, 1 'Cocker Spanisha girl', 1 Great Pyr,  and 19 hens, 2 roosters.  Bees started in the hives.  5 alpacas, 1 guardian llama, 4  Nigerian Dwarf does and 4 Icelandic lamb ewes.  Life is good. 

No matter where you go, there you are.  BB

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post #7 of 801
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddawn 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dacjohns 

I looked at the title and wondered why Speckledhen was asking this question.  lol


I had the same thought.  smile

Wonderful link; thanks.


But... Cynthia knows everything... Oh. lol

"Nobody should ever make blanket statements!"
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"Nobody should ever make blanket statements!"
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post #8 of 801

Hi, I posted my response on the original thread but am going to add it here, as well.

That article is, in my daintily humble opinion, not useful at all.

According to that article, chickens are pretty useless within two years, and they all start laying at 18 to 20 weeks.  That goes against virtually every single thing I have ever read about chickens on here and in books.  CERTAIN breeds lay early, most start around 25-26 weeks in reality.  I have also read NUMEROUS threads from experienced chickenkeeprs on here that have had their hens laying eggs regularly for years and years, not a lousy 18 months as is stated in the article!

Also according to that article, if that info were accurate, when the days shorten, EVERYBODY'S birds should slow down.  Buuuuut they do not.  Not everyone's birds slow down or stop. 

My chickens have met all the criteria required in the article and still no eggs.  I think there is something amiss in Mother Nature because there are SO many chickens that were hatched this spring.... an inordinate number of them... that are not producing eggs here as we near the end of the year!   And it's not just my part of the country.  All you have to do is read the BYC threads to know that there are  lots of us doing all the 'RIGHT' things & still not getting any eggs.  It's like there's a worldwide chicken egg-laying strike.  LOL.

I think that there may have also been something amiss, maybe, in a hatchery & a buncha barren birds might have been produced?  I don't know for sure, just saying that something's gotta be amiss somewhere.  I have 8-month-old RIR and BR pullets that don't look or act any closer to laying than they did in July.  I was concerned maybe they aren't laying because I switched them to layer food at 20 weeks & maybe they need more protein, so I upped their protein and changed their food to grower/flock finisher with free choice oyster shell.  They eat the oyster shell and the food, seem to be really healthy and happy birds... just not gonna lay any eggs is all.

Living in the Sierras, raising chickens, groovin' on alpacas, growing food, loving my fabulous husband, and closer than ever to living my ideal dream!

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Living in the Sierras, raising chickens, groovin' on alpacas, growing food, loving my fabulous husband, and closer than ever to living my ideal dream!

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post #9 of 801
Thread Starter 

That is a general article with most of the main causes for lack of eggs. Just as I mentioned, chickens are living creatures, not machines, therefore, there may be other reasons and every bird isn't a textbook example. I've had birds lay their first egg at 18 weeks and I've had them lay at 40 weeks. When folks post the same question often about this same subject, I want to say, "They're not laying because they aren't laying." Sometimes you just can't find the cause and sometimes, usually in older birds, it's internal laying, a reproductive malfunction. No amount of worrying will make them lay, LOL. They generally do slow down after two or three years old. I do have a couple of five year old hens who are still laying two to three eggs per week. I lost one recently who hadn't laid an egg in 14 months and she was almost five as well. They are just individuals.

   www.blueroocreations.com, where every artisan is a veteran or the spouse of a veteran, is moving!

Blue Roo Creations Etsy Shop is open for business during the move! Click Here!

Mountain View Heritage Poultry, Home of Nazi Rooster & The One Spur Wonder

URGENT! Always Quarantine Newly Purchased Birds!
~A dog on its owner's property is a pet; A dog on someone else's property is a predator~

 
 

Reply

   www.blueroocreations.com, where every artisan is a veteran or the spouse of a veteran, is moving!

Blue Roo Creations Etsy Shop is open for business during the move! Click Here!

Mountain View Heritage Poultry, Home of Nazi Rooster & The One Spur Wonder

URGENT! Always Quarantine Newly Purchased Birds!
~A dog on its owner's property is a pet; A dog on someone else's property is a predator~

 
 

Reply
post #10 of 801

What a great idea for a sticky!  I know this comes up all the time.

There are also two reasons that people think their chickens aren't laying, when they really are.  This comes up when people have low production.  They're also things that commercial flocks in confinement don't usually deal with, so they don't get mentioned in articles.

The chickens are free ranging and laying out in the yard.

The chickens are laying, but an egg predator is stealing the eggs.

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