2-3 year old chicken stopped laying eggs

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Nicky-the-witch, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. Nicky-the-witch

    Nicky-the-witch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hello,

    Last week Penelope, my top chicken (of 2 adults) who normally is the one shouting to be let out (they free range the garden all day) was quiet when I went to open the coop. She had and egg of hers (which I assume she had laid that night/morning) on the floor of the coop which she was pushing around with her beak. I took the egg and she got out had a walk round then went back into a nesting box, put her head under her wing and went back to sleep. She pretty much did that on and off all day. This is the chicken who has been trying to crow (since we hatched out chicks at xmas) and usually sings the egg song very loudly!!
    I just though she was having a off day (do chickens get headaches?) however, since then she makes very little noise and has not laid an egg.

    Yesterday she clucked a bit, in fact both adults sounded the alarm and backed all the chick off when a rat came for a drink (having a heatwave here) - I threw a heavy rock and squished said rat (urg!! I surprised myself!)

    So no clucking and no eggs - any ideas what may be wrong? She does not squat if I try to pick her up either.
    She is well and eating/drinking scratching around otherwise.

    Any advice gratefully accepted.
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    23,605
    1,314
    396
    Jul 24, 2013
    So this has been going on for a week? Chickens can stop laying because of stress (caused by disease, parasites, heat, picking, etc.), old age, or because they are molting. I don't think 2-3 years is old for a chicken, so that probably isn't it. As for molting, does she seem to be losing feathers, and/or has she ever molted? Molting is common at this time of year, and is perfectly natural. In the case of disease/parasites, has she ever been wormed? Does she have any other symptoms (lethargy, runny droppings, not eating/drinking, swollen crop or face, etc.)? If she seems fine, and isn't molting, she could just be taking a break from egg laying--this is rather common; some of my birds (albeit not the best layers, being mostly for show) lay about 10 eggs and then wait a week before laying again.
     
  3. Nicky-the-witch

    Nicky-the-witch Chillin' With My Peeps

    She has not been wormed - I have a sick chick at the moment, as soon as I got him/her over this I was going to worm everyone. Also having a heatwave at the moment (although Penelope's unusual behaviour started before) after it gets cooler I am planning to give the coop a good clean out and treatment for lice/bugs etc

    She has moulted in the past - she does not appear to be now. She usually lays much less in the winter - but this time last year was an egg a day almost. Poop etc all seem normal, she does seem content in herself, by no means ill - just not her normal happy, egg laying self!
    I usually apologise to the neighbours for all the noise she makes - but recently she does not even cluck let alone "bagarrk!"

    She could of course be older than I think - I bought her as an adult and told 18mth old - but I thought the egg laying would just sort of reduce until it was a rarity for an egg rather than just stop suddenly.
    I am not hugely concerned - as she seems happy enough. I have searched the garden for a hidden nest (we have had that before!!) but so far nothing. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by