2 year old Orpington hasn't laid in 6-8 months

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jeni in FL, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. Jeni in FL

    Jeni in FL In the Brooder

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    Hello all! I have a 2 year old Buff Orpington that stopped laying several months ago. Her back feathers seemed broken so I checked her for mites and other problems, but nothing. She would get into the nesting box for an hour or so and come out without laying an egg. Now, 6-8 months later (I cannot remember when she stopped laying), her feathers are all beautiful and she got into the nesting box today for an hour or so, when she got out she was singing her egg song, but nothing. My other 4 hens are coming out of a molt and starting to lay and I have had no other problems with the others. Any ideas? Thank you!
     
  2. RodNTN

    RodNTN Hatchaolic

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    She may be broody, Buff Orpingtona are a very broody breed. Are her feathers all puffed up when she is in the nest? Does she "growl" at you? Any pecking when you try to remove eggs?
     
  3. Welshies

    Welshies Crowing

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    What are you feeding her? Is her comb bright and red, or small and pink?
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Crowing

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    Spring is coming. It's completely normal for hens to molt in the fall and then stop laying for the winter. Once the days start getting longer, they start to lay again. Orpingtons are not prolific layers, so it's normal that she doesn't produce as many eggs as the others.
     
    aart and PennyM like this.
  5. Jeni in FL

    Jeni in FL In the Brooder

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    She has done this behavior for several months. I thought maybe an odd molting where her feathers just broke off and not completely fell out, but they are beautiful now and she started the behavior again. She did this several months ago too where she laid in the nest and then got out without laying. She isn't broody at all. She acts completely normal except for this behavior. She was laying pretty well until nearly 8 months ago when she started this. Here is a picture of her with my NH Red.
     

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  6. Welshies

    Welshies Crowing

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    What are you feeding? Protein level?
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Rolling Down The River

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    Broken feathers are generally from being broken not a molt. Do you have a rooster? They will wear the feathers off their backs, otherwise without a rooster I would suspect another hen is picking on her.

    Most of my 2 year old or older Orpingtons haven't started back up yet. Generally it takes until March or April around here. It is normal for many hens to take months off during the winter to rest and recover.

    The natural lay cycle is driven by light, whether increasing or decreasing. You will see your best production during spring into early summer.

    It is normal for hens to fake it. It's possible she's getting close to starting back. She may recognize the sensations so she thinks egg, but not yet.
     
    sourland likes this.
  8. Jeni in FL

    Jeni in FL In the Brooder

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    Layer feed with 16% protein
     
  9. Welshies

    Welshies Crowing

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    16% protein is a bit low. Lay feed is also bad for birds that aren't laying (non laying hens, chicks, or roosters), so switch to an 18-22% all flock feed or maintenance feed. Lay feed fed to non-laying birds can harm them or slow their development. Give a free-choice bowl of oystershell for calcium.
     
    Jeni in FL likes this.
  10. Jeni in FL

    Jeni in FL In the Brooder

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