11 month old hen hasn't laid an egg for 2 months - Update - good news!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ArizonaDesertChicks, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

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    This barnevelder hen went broody back in May - sat on the eggs for 3 weeks, but broke almost of them and never got to raise any chicks. She started laying again, but then went broody again in July. I tried to break her broodiness by putting her in with the 6-8 week old chicks that we had. After several days, I let her back in with the hens - no more broodiness, but she is still not laying. Her comb is small.

    Today, I caught her hanging out with the babies (now 19 weeks old). Basically, there are still 2 flocks in the yard (the youngsters & the old-timers), even though I have been trying to integrate the bunch. Could having these youngsters around have impacted her hormones? The babies' real mother (that hatched some of them and raised them for about 4 weeks) has been laying for months.

    This is her (on the left) with the youngsters. The young ones typically don't hang with anychicken from the older flock because so many of the older ones still peck or chase them.
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    This is Lacy - the non-laying hen (pic taken today) - note the light pinkness and size of her comb & wattles:
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    This is Penny - other barnevelder (pic taken today) - same breed, same source (hatchery barnies) - note how red & large her comb & wattles are compared to Lacy's:

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    This is Lacy - the non-laying hen back before she ever went broody or had to go through a hot AZ summer - she looked better back then.
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    Last edited: Feb 22, 2010
  2. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not really sure. Is it possible that she came off of broodiness, then started an early, slow molt?
     
  3. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

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    Maybe. I don't see signs of her molting though. It's been a few months, but maybe she hasn't totally come off being broody? I was wondering is some hens just stop laying, period.
     
  4. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I suppose that's possible. I'd ask if she was ever a good layer, but I know how hard it is to call a broody hen a good layer! A good sitter, yes. But a good layer would be a stretch with any of my broody girls.

    I've heard that old hens only lay occasionally, but I'm doubting that she's really old, or you wouldn't be asking about this... Also doubting that she's still broody. You know the signs of the broody hen - the puffing up, the puck-puck-pucking.

    I'm at a loss with this one. If she were mine, I'd just be waiting for spring and hoping that she would start laying again then.

    Wish I could be of more help than that.
     
  5. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

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    Good question - I forgot to put her age in my post. She's actually quite young - less than 1 year old and has gone broody twice. She was only 5 months old the first time she went broody and after sitting on her eggs for 4 weeks (golfballs the first week, real eggs the next 3 weeks) did start laying again. She (and the other barnevelder) lay about 1 egg every other day when they are laying.
     
  6. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

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    Dec 8, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
    Update: Not sure what caused her to stop for so long, but Lacy is laying again - note the bright red comb & wattles she has now compared to her pics a few months ago;

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