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Chickens not laying eggs

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi, we are getting frustrated with our 5 chickens.  They are about 16 months old (1 Americauna, 2 Rhode Island, 2 Barred Rock) and they were great layers through June of this year.  We're not sure what happened but for the most part, we get 0 eggs per day and occasionally 1 egg.  They get fed organic feed from local feed store and we also have been giving oyster shells as suggested by this store.  They get plenty of water and food and are basically spoiled and treated like queens.  They don't seem stressed and appear healthy.  We let them free roam every evening and they have even caught 2 mice this last week!  What is odd is when we open nesting box, they all seem to lay in the box for 1/2 hour or more each day but they don't lay eggs anymore.  Only the Americauna is molting, and no eggs from her since early July.  Will these chickens start laying eggs again?  Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 14

You sure they're not laying somewhere outside when they're ranging? Mine have decided the rose bushes that are heavily mulched are the best nest box ever. Which is fine with me. At least I don't have to do the easter egg hunt every day! I actually keep a ceramic egg in there so if they don't lay in the nest box, the odds are good they'll lay in the rose bushes. Better than hunting 10 acres for em! Try keeping them in for a couple days and see if they lay.
 

chickens and horses and dogs... OH MY!  (and a cat.. let's not forget about the cat... like she'd allow that anyway)
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chickens and horses and dogs... OH MY!  (and a cat.. let's not forget about the cat... like she'd allow that anyway)
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post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

We kept them in for 2 days but no change.  Does anyone else have any ideas?  Is this uncommon for 16 month old chickens to stop laying eggs? 

post #4 of 14

I have a similar problem. I have at least 20 chickens that should be laying. Plus a dozen pullets that will be starting to lay soon.

 

Back in April when they were all first starting to lay, I was getting over a dozen eggs a day! Now I'm down to 3-6 eggs a day. 

 

In my smaller coop with my first batch of chickens (only 5 hens now, this is their 3rd year) I once had a problem with no eggs for a while, and I discovered it was a skunk that kept getting in and eating the eggs. 

 

But with my new coop, it's much more secure, and I don't believe it's an animal. I wondered if maybe one of the chickens were eating them... but I don't believe that is the case, as sometimes I'll be gone all day long, come home and there's still a few eggs there. I've put eggs down on the litter to see if any of them went for them... other than a broody bantam who'd roll them into a corner to sit on them, none of the girls even seemed interested. I have also looked at their faces and I don't see any yolk splattered.

 

I raised the nests up a bit, in case it was a snake. That didn't make any difference. 

 

I had the last few days off from work, and so I was frequently out there checking for eggs, perhaps 8 times or more a day. No difference. 

 

I've put a light out there now, and I turn it on around 5 or 5:30AM if I remember, and then I also turn it on at dark until I go to bed. I've only been doing that for about a week, but that so far hasn't seemed to improve things.

post #5 of 14

If you search for this issue.. you will notice that there have been alot of people asking the same question. I went through the same thing. For the last month, my eggs went from 6 per day to 1.  Mine are 4 weeks older than yours. I wonder if there is something about the age  of 14-16 months. You will get all the same answers such as stress, laying in hidden places, and starting a molt. If yours are like mine... give it a month and it will return to normal.

Living the Dream

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Living the Dream

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post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

I did search for similar issues with lack of eggs but everything I have found is because of predators, molting, old age, etc.   Nothing seems to fit what is happening with our chickens where they just completely stop laying eggs after being good egg producers.  I appreciate your comment though as it's good to know there is someone else out there with similar issue.  Question-- did your hens start laying eggs again or are you still waiting?  Thanks.

post #7 of 14

Chickens molt at around 18 months old. You won't get eggs for about two months when this happens.

 

Molting usually takes place in late summer or early fall. It seems that your hens are molting.

post #8 of 14

These hens are in a molt.  It may not seem like it, but this is certainly within the time frame of the molt cycle, and is also the only reason that good laying hens would abruptly stop.  It is very hard to imagine that they all would stop at the same time.  Molts can take a while, some lasting two months, and there will be no eggs during this period.  Sorry, but it is part of the chicken's life.

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for.  We are the change that we seek." - Barack Obama

 

 

 

 

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"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for.  We are the change that we seek." - Barack Obama

 

 

 

 

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post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobby632 View Post

I did search for similar issues with lack of eggs but everything I have found is because of predators, molting, old age, etc.   Nothing seems to fit what is happening with our chickens where they just completely stop laying eggs after being good egg producers.  I appreciate your comment though as it's good to know there is someone else out there with similar issue.  Question-- did your hens start laying eggs again or are you still waiting?  Thanks.

Yes my egg level did return back to normal about a week ago. I know that molting seems to be the most likely suspect.. however, I thought hens lose feathers when they molt and mine certainly did not and it seems yours aren't either.

Living the Dream

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Living the Dream

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post #10 of 14

Can be disruption in the flock, weather fluctuation, a lot of who knows but God. An oldtimer's remedy to boost production is to add crushed red pepper to the feed. I don't think it really helps it just came to mind when I read this thread. Lots of those types of remedies make you feel like you are doing something while time resolves the issue.

I'm the Mama    that's why

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I'm the Mama    that's why

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