6 hens have stopped laying - it has been four months and not a single egg!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by doulaemily, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. doulaemily

    doulaemily New Egg

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    I have 6 hens in my sunny SoCal backyard. All have been reasonable to good layers in the past. At the end of August, they started their molting and the eggs tapered off and then stopped. But...the feathers all grew back, and yet NO EGGS.

    The chickens eat a non-GMO layer mix (free feed, as desired) along with kitchen scraps. They have at least 700 square feet to range in, and generally seem quite happy, dust bathing, scratching for bugs, etc.

    Of course it is winter now and I understand that there is a slow-down or cease in laying right now, but it seems really strange not to get a single egg for four months in a row. Has anyone else has this experience, and is there anything I can do? I miss my eggs!
     
  2. 1chickendog142

    1chickendog142 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 9, 2014
    You didn't say how old your hens are ? Or how many, kind ? Well I have had your problem before and this is what I did ( laugh if you want too ) . I put a light on a timer in the coop to add 4 - 6 hours of additional light these winter nights & I fed my chickens some hot pepper, yes, the free little pacs of crushed red peppers that you get from PH , tear open 4-5 pour on dirt , eggs will soon follow. ( old timers trick, doesn't effect taste of eggs, a little goes a long way people,please don't burn rear ends of hens. LMAO
     
  3. Americano Blue

    Americano Blue Mush on!

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    I am having the same problem and we think they have mites
     
  4. doulaemily

    doulaemily New Egg

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    I have 2 buff orpingtons, about 2.5 years old now, 2 black australorps, about 2.5 years old, and 2 easter eggers, about 18 months old.

    I know about the light trick, but I would prefer to let them follow natural seasonal rhythms. There was plenty of light back in October! I'm looking for leads on reasons they would have stopped laying for so many months, which was NOT connected to a lack of light (at that time).

    Are you serious about the red pepper? Why would that have an effect?
     
  5. doulaemily

    doulaemily New Egg

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    What causes mites? Why would that stop them from laying? How do you treat to get rid of mites?

    Thanks!
     
  6. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    WELCOME TO BYC!

    How old are your hens? Hens above 2 years generally stop laying after the molt and don't start again till spring.

    Like Americano Blue said, they might have parasites. Make sure they can dirt bathe. Here are two links to check out also
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/mites-lice-treatment-and-prevention
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/08/poultry-lice-and-mites-identification.html

    Make sure you don't overfeed them table scraps. Plump hens are happy hens but obese hens don't lay eggs.

    Good luck to both of you!
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. doulaemily

    doulaemily New Egg

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    Well, that would account for 4 of them, but the two easter eggers aren't 2 yet. I watch them dirt bathe all the time. One of their favorite things to do.

    Curious about the table scraps - how much is too much? How do you know if a hen is fat? ;)

    Thanks a lot for the links - checking them out now.
     
  8. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    That's good that they dust bathe. They probably don't have lice.

    Treats should only take up 10% of their daily diet. Signs of a hen being fat is lack of exercise, overeating, laying at night and egg binding.
     
  9. 1chickendog142

    1chickendog142 Out Of The Brooder

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    I said old timer trick, I asked some elder chicken keepers and this is what they told me to try, I did, I got my chickens laying again, I don't know why more daylight hours and hot pepper worked but I'm just happy my hens are putten out again. Nuff said
     
  10. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    None of your layers are spring chickens. The molt, fewer hours of daylight and your hens' age are discouraging. They will lay again maybe in another 30 days or so. Are you feeding them correctly or are you feeding a fad diet?

    To many of the chicken feeds marketed to new BYC keepers today are sold with the purpose of the feed mill getting golden eggs and the poor hens' owner getting a big fat goose egg.
     

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