3 year old Buff Orp. hasn't laid in 10 months!?????


6 Years
Aug 9, 2016
Hi All, Blanche hasn't laid since last November...when she was just 2 years old...WAY too young to be "done" laying...and she never "tapered off"...just *quit*. Any ideas? ...some background/circumstances/conditions...She's otherwise totally healthy and acts just like her "twin" sister(our other Buff Orp). She eats, drinks, scratches, poops, hangs out, roosts, preens, dustbathes, sunbathes, gets treats, just like everyone else in the coop. Her comb and wattles look great, no fading, no signs of disease. The only thing different about her is that she's got what I call her "fatty blob"...it's about the size of an egg, but very soft(so that's why I think it's just fat), she's had it since she was about a year old...so she laid just fine with it being there for over a year, so I dont think that has anything to do with it...it has not changed, shrunk/grown/hardened/softened/moved since I first noticed it when she was about a year old(she was a bit of a treat hog back then, which is why I drew the "fatty blob" conclusion...she's also much "fluffier" than her "twin"(who stays slim by going broody at the drop of a hat :-\). I cut back on her treats when I first noticed it...so she's only been getting as much as the rest of the flock for the past year and a half or so. I dont think it's any kind of tumor cuz it's so soft and has not changed at *all* in 2 years. We have an enclosed run, no free-ranging, so she's not hiding her eggs...she doesn't even "try"...never sits in the nesting boxes. Our Rooster still jumps her like all the other girls(I noticed he didn't bother her sister when she was brooding/mothering, and he doesn't seem to bother the pullets til they're old enough to lay, so he seems to know when it's not "worth it". She stopped laying about a month before the pullet from our first batch of chicks started laying, and about a month after we had her "brother" and her "nephew" processed, so I dont think she missed them, or had any issues with the new pullet taking up space in one of the 3 nesting boxes available to the six "layers". She went through a very mild molt shortly before she stopped laying(for the first year's molt, none of my girls completely stopped laying eggs...they just slowed down a bit during their very mild molts), but she's looked beautifully fully feathered since then, and doesn't seem to be molting now(though everyone else seems to be! :-\) She's not picked on, but she does pick on this year's "babies"(who are now 17 weeks old). She was one of 5 hens(plus one roo) that we originally got. We've had two sets of babies(her slim sister, Bertha loves to be a mommy!) in the last year and a half...adding one hen the first round, and 4 this time...about a month or two from starting to lay. We live in California...weather is pretty darn mild most of the year, so I dont think it has anything to do with weather. I've not seen any evidence of worms, mites, lice, or anythin else that could be causing her distress. Can anyone give me any idea why Blanche has become a total freeloading slacker? I told her she might be more useful as soup if she goes a whole year without laying an egg! ;-\ I always said I'd let my girls live out a nice long life because I feel like they deserve a little "retirement" time after working so hard for years, but sheesh...she "retired" a lot earlier than we expected! LOL! She was such a good layer the first year/year and a half...I know they slow down after that, but STOP completely???? Any ideas????
The different colors of Orpingtons were originally created using crosses of completely different other breeds of chickens. The different color Orpingtons were actually not related to each other. The breed was more like a brand than a breed. In more recent history, the's been an effort to standardize the breed, so the different colors are no longer so far off from each other in their other "specs", but still, I wouldn't be surprised if there still are differences between the different colors. The age of retirement could be one of them....
My 3 yr old BO stopped halfway this year and hasn't shown any sign of picking back up since. Of course each bird is an individual but mine's definitely joined the freeloader's club.
What are you feeding? Feeding a ration with 18-20% protein can help to optimize laying. When I switched a few years back off a layer and onto an All Flock ration I had an 8 year old hen start back up after not playing for 2 years.

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