I have six chickens and they all were laying eggs for about 2 weeks, but then one seems to have completely stopped laying, because now we only get 5 eggs every day. The one that stopped laying is a tetra tint, if that helps. Does anyone know why a chicken would stop laying eggs?
Chicken stopped laying eggs?
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I have 7 hens that are old enough to lay eggs. Six of them began laying at about 3-1/2 months old and by the time they were 5 months old we were getting 6 eggs every day without fail. They are all red pullets. Our one Ameraucauna hen was not laying, but since she was a different breed we thought she just needed more time. I have a narrow storage cabinet hanging in a corner of my coop. The door to the cabinet was always left open and one morning I found her on the top shelf and a broken egg on the floor below. She had laid an egg on the shelf, but it rolled off onto the floor. I began closing the door to the cabinet and then we began finding her up in the ceiling of our coop (the building had been used for tack storage when we had horses). One day I took a ladder into the coop to see what she was doing up there and discovered an egg between 2 rafters. The next day I searched further and found her in an area under the eaves where she had laid about 5 eggs and 1 egg in another area. We stapled chicken wire fencing to the rafters so she couldn't go up into the ceiling anymore. After that we still had no eggs from her in the nesting boxes and I kept finding her outside the fence of our 80' x 40' run. We had been searching the area where we would find her walking around and this morning I found 5 eggs in some weeds right next to the coop, but outside of the fence. We thought we had a hen that was not laying only to learn that she seems to have a privacy issue and wants to lay her eggs in quiet, out-of-the-way places. I don't want to keep her caged up in the coop, but I also don't want to go on an Easter egg hunt every day.
Any suggestions on how I can encourage her to use one of our 10 nesting boxes inside the coop would be greatly appreciated.
Edited by ShoreBird - 8/21/12 at 9:41am
I'm only giving you my experience as reference and your situation could be very different with a hopefully a different outcome. I had a two year old RIR who stopped laying rather suddenly. She acted completely normal, would even go into the nest box and come out in a normal amount of time, sometimes even doing the "egg song" - but no egg. She ate normally, drank, interacted, just no egg. After about 2 mo of no laying she was very lethargic one morning and I could tell something was wrong. She wouldn't eat or drink and seemed to be panting later in the day even though it had cooled off. I took her inside and crated her and the next afternoon my sweet chicken died. I later realized she had become an internal layer. You can search for that on the site to learn more.
I really hope that is not what is happening with your chicken and hope she is just taking a break for some other reason. But I know it was driving me nuts to not have any idea why a normal acting chicken wasn't laying in her prime time. I wish you luck with your chicken.
I posted a similar question and am interested in answers.
One of my 2 girls (columbian rock cross) has stopped laying. She only started about 5-6 days ago. I haven't seen an egg from her yesterday or today. She seems fine today, though, yesterday she was lethargic. She is still eating/drinking and defecating. Today she was dust bathing, moving around, scratching at the shavings in the coop, up and down from the roosts inside and out. I took a look at her yesterday while she was lethargic and didn't find anything apparently wrong with her. I looked at her again today (I think, the 3 all look nearly identical) and could find nothing wrong.
I'm not yet worried but, am wondering when to start worrying.
Just now I checked my coop and again, there were five eggs, and the bottom of the nesting box was wet and covered with bugs. There weren't any shell pieces left, but I think one of my chickens could be eating her own eggs. I guess on the other days it dried too quickly for me to notice it. I hope this is true because otherwise she's an internal layer :( This is probably also what happened to Tigertrea's chicken. Does anyone know what to do?
The nesting box on the top shelf (or building one high up for her) is a good idea. Since my posting I tried taking a plastic storage box and setting it up as an enclosed nesting box. She used it once. We have a small oval shaped sink in our coop that is no longer in use. Several of our hens like to lay their eggs in the sink since it is the perfect size and shape for them. I keep it full of pine shavings for them. About 2 days ago I found one of her eggs in the sink along with 4 eggs from our other hens (her eggs are a very light pinkish color so they stand out from the brown eggs). Today I caught her outside of the fence twice and put her back in. She kept going into the coop but coming out a few minutes later. She was clearly anxious and looking for a place to lay her egg. Maybe it is not the nest itself, but perhaps our row of nesting boxes is not high enough off of the floor for her. We have them resting on cinder blocks about 8 inches off of the floor. It would be easy to raise them another foot or two by stacking a few more cinder blocks.