1 1/2 yr. Old Doesn't Lay

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sotelomary, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. sotelomary

    sotelomary Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a GLW that layed for a couple weeks last fall. She has never gone into molt and hasn't layed on almost 1 yr. She is on layer feed, free choice oyster and grit. I was feeding greens daily and scratch about 2x a week. I have stopped doing this to see if she would lay. The couple weeks that she did lay the eggs were normal but alittle small which was to be expected.

    There have been no changes to the environment. She along with 3 other hens are in a loving and calm environment. We live in the bay area where our weather is nice year round. Of the other 3 hens, two are daily layers and the third lays eggs that have alittle wave but are still delicious.

    Will she lay after she goes into molt which should be this fall? I am thinking of getting rid of her if she doesn't start laying. If I decide to cull her, is she edible or will she be tough?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    I forgot to mention that they are in a coop and have a large run. There is no place where eggs could be hiding.

    Last edited: Sep 15, 2010
  2. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    I'm not sure what to tell you about your hen. All of my hens lay. Some lay more than others of course. Even my oldest hens, who will be 4 years old in the spring, still lay regularly. So I have no experience with a nonlaying hen.

    I can tell you that it isn't unusual for a chicken to NOT molt during their first year. Or maybe they do molt, but just not noticeably. I'd guestimate that less than half of my first year ladies have ever molted so that I noticed it. Even the ones who did seemed to do a partial molt, most obviously around the head and neck. Their second autumn is when the real molting starts. So I'd think she will molt soon, and we can hope that maybe that will reset her little egg timer and maybe she will start laying in the spring. Maybe?

    I say in spring because of the dwindling hours of daylight. Long days stimulate egg production, not nice weather. Although it is certainly true that extreme weather can stress hens and cause production to drop. Since the days are getting shorter, and asuming that you don't supplement light in the coop, I wouldn't expect her to suddenly start laying anytime soon.

    Should you decide that you aren't interested in any more wait and see with this hen, (and who could blame you?) she should be quite edible. You would want to slow cook her, like in a crock pot. I never pluck my chickens (roosters), just skin them out and take the breasts and legs. Then I soak those in a bowl of brine in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Then into the crock pot. I will generally make some sort of casserole out of the meat. Or chicken and dumplings. Something along those lines. The flavor is excellent, but the texture is different from a supermarket chicken. Tougher, stringier? Yes. That's why I like to make some sort of a diced up dish with it. I'm no expert on the subject, that's just the best advice I have for you in the chicken cookin' department. Other folks probably do it differently.

    At any rate, good luck with whatever you decide to do. It must be pretty frustrating for you. [​IMG]
  3. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 16, 2009
    Sometimes a hen's ovaries fail and she just stops egg laying. An ovarian tumour can also cause eggs to stop, but the hen usually starts to masculinise.....comb and wattles grow, gets more aggressive, crows. This may be the cause,

  4. hongyush2008

    hongyush2008 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 30, 2010
    Quote:Agree with you...I think she also need time to rest and then lay eggs once again....
  5. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    She could also be laying internally. There is no good outcome for this condition. You would be doing the hen a favor by culling her before this becomes a fatal condition. It's a pretty awful way to go.

    Cooking a laying hen needs to be done slow and moist. If you have a crock pot that's the best way to do it. You cook her any other way and she may be tough and dry. I haven't cooked any of my old ladies (yet), but I hear there is no finer flavored chicken that an old layer if it is cooked properly.

    Good luck.
  6. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    I had a BO 2 years ago that layed a few eggs and then never layed again. After her first molt, she passed away. She was normal for the whole year+ that she lived with me, but didn't lay. I agree that if she really isn't laying, the outcome may not be good.
  7. sotelomary

    sotelomary Chillin' With My Peeps

    lauralou...Thanks for the cooking tips. Unfortunately, I am very squimish and cannot cull a chicken. I was asking in lieu of others. I would like to give her away but not sure if I would find takers.

    hongyush...She acts normal. She is very quiet and docile. The only thing is that she has always had is a large crop. I used to worry about this and was constantly checking her.

    Cindy...It seems that you have gone through this and it helps to know that someone has gone through it also.

    Thanks everyone. I'll see after the first molt to see what happens if anything.

  8. greenmulberry

    greenmulberry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 17, 2007
    I had a hen that never laid a single egg. She always seemed fine, until at about 3 years she declined very fast and was dead in the coop one day. I just figured there was something wrong internally that caught up with her.

    Unfortunately, it can be very hard to tell what is wrong with a chicken sometimes.

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