2 hens stopped laying immediately when it got cold


In the Brooder
5 Years
Aug 4, 2014
Holden, MO
I have two EE's that were laying daily with no problems. Last Thursday, we got some cold weather pretty quickly here in Missouri! In one day it went from 85 degrees to 60 degrees! Gotta love the Midwest! Anyway, they haven't laid since, but they aren't acting like they are eggbound or anything. Should I be worried or is this normal?:(
How old are they?
This is the time of year when molting starts and egg laying slacks off. It's much more day length related than cold. Those birds shouldn't be affected by cold - and 60 isn't cold for a chicken but more in their sweet spot.
They are 1 to 2 years old only. At least that is what I was told when I bought them in July. They were my best layers! Never missed, even when moving them after buying them!
Most breeds will molt their second autumn and each one thereafter.
Declining day length has a lot to do with it. First year pullets aren't affected but they will be each subsequent year. They'll take a winter break and then become your best layers again after the winter solstice.
When people have great layers and all of a sudden they take a break, they're disappointed. They're not egg machines but animals that feed you breakfast but they occasionally need to rebuild the plumbing.

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I don't mind if they take a break. I just did not realize how suddenly it would happen and was hoping that there was nothing wrong. I thought that they just started slowing down and that molt happened later in the fall.
Molt can be any time of year but especially from August through January.
They're both the same breed, probably the same age, possibly sisters and exposed to the same lighting conditions so it's not surprising their laying cycle follows one another
So that being said, I have a couple other hens that should start laying any day now. Will they lay this year or wait until Spring to start now?
It's a guessing game when they reach POL in September, October or later. You can fool the pineal gland by adding light to the coop on a timer to come on at 3 or 4 AM.
I've done that before with 24 week old pullets in the middle of September. I got the first egg in a week and all were laying after 2 weeks. They probably would have started soon but that stimulated them all at the same time.
They were the same age but 3 different breeds - Orps, JGs and Rocks.
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