3 2yr old hens, only 2 laying.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by JHortonx5, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. JHortonx5

    JHortonx5 Just Hatched

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    Jul 6, 2016
    Apex, North Carolina
    I have 3 hens (about 2yrs old). We've owned them for about 7 weeks. The came with the house that we bought. Only 2 are laying. I have not seen an egg from the dark red hen.
    I've looked in the yard for a secret nest. Every once in a while I will find an egg laid while roosting (maybe once a week). It's always on the floor of the hen house usually without a shell, or a very thin shell. I don't think these are coming from the other 2 hens because they lay in the nest like clock work. What do I do?

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    Last edited: Sep 6, 2016
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    They are probably getting ready to molt so have stopped laying or are slowing down to stop, thus the funky eggs.
     
  3. JHortonx5

    JHortonx5 Just Hatched

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    Jul 6, 2016
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    OK, It's definitely possible that she could be starting molting, but I haven't seen any feathers, until today.

    I'm sorry, I just reread my original post and I repeated a lot of it.....arrrrrgggg!!!

    I don't think she has really laid eggs for 7 weeks. At least not in the nesting box, no where around the run, no where in the fenced in yard, occasionally I will find a thin, rubbery, broken egg on the floor of the hen house in the early morning (I clean up poop in the hen house each morning.)

    The other two that are laying, they squat for me to pet them whenever I enter their run. The one that's not laying, will not squat for me. She just runs away if I reach down to pet her. I try to pet them once a day.
    Today, I attempted to pick her up and she squawked and flapped her wings until she was free. A bunch of small feathers came out when she got free of me.

    Also, the previous owner also told me that this same hen was broody for a few weeks before we moved in (July 13th).
    What is with this girl?!?!?![​IMG]
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Well, they can do that...broodiness is often followed by a molt...and they don't lay when doing either.

    The only way to absolutely be certain they don't have a secret nest is to keep them confined for a time.

    Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop for 3-4 days (or longer) can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. Fake eggs/golf balls in the nests can help 'show' them were to lay. They can be confined to coop 24/7 for a few days to a week, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.
     
  5. 1cutechick

    1cutechick Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2014
    I'm having an egg laying problem too. I have 3 leghorns and 2 large brown hens. The brown girls have been sporadic layers for a while now, but the leghorns all would lay daily. Before they stopped laying, the shells on all of them became soft and cracked easily and the yokes would break easily. They have all completely stopped laying. All are 2 years old. Some of them look like they may be molting and have some bare spots. Two are looking just fine. Someone mentioned maybe they are not getting enough nutrition so we changed their feed from layer scratch that I bought at Farm and Fleet, to a layer scratch from the feed store that a friend uses. They all stopped laying completely after the change in food. They have open access to oysters and grit, food, water, a large fenced area to run in, and occasional corn, BOSS and scraps that they share with two goats. I've never had everybody just top before. The weather is neither too hot or too cold. We have one silkie rooster and 3 silkie hens that are laying about every other day. Any ideas?
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Funky eggs before a molt is not unusual.
    Some molt hard, losing a lot of feathers all at once....
    ....and some molt slower so it can be hard to tell, unless you inspect closely to look for new pin feathers growing in.

    They need extra protein when molting to grow those feathers back faster.
    I don't know what 'layer scratch' is......read the labels on feed bags for nutrient levels.
     
  7. 1cutechick

    1cutechick Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2014
    Just like a miracle I got an egg this morning from one of the girls! Hopefully more will follow....
     
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