Again no eggs for months

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Lyranonamous, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. Lyranonamous

    Lyranonamous Songster

    My girls molted in and around Sept. We haven't had any eggs from any of them since then. (even the ones who weren't yet molting) It was not cold in Sept or Oct but did get cold in November. Then it warmed again for most of Dec.
    Can anyone explain why they stopped laying so early, or if there is any way to encourage them to continue laying through the fall besides lamps? I don't like to force them to lay all winter, and would gladly do without eggs for all of Dec, Jan and Feb.because they are busy staying warm, but Sept and Oct?
    Oddly they usually begin to lay again in Feb which is the coldest month. Any ideas to keep they laying later into the fall?
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    That's how it works.
    What breeds do you have?
    How old are they?
    The temperature has nothing to do with it.
    The primary determinant other than molt is whether light period is increasing or decreasing.
    Decreasing light period vs. dark period is detected by the pineal gland which produces the hormone melatonin. That shrinks the gonads.
    Increasing light reduces melatonin so gonads are rejuvenated and ovulation ensues.
    That's why they start laying in February - regardless of temperature.
    So what happens is, when day length decreases (aug., sep., oct), that's the signal to molt and grow a new winter coat. By the time they recover, days are very short, no matter the temperature. You can reboot them after molt by incrementing light. Otherwise wait till after winter solstice.
    The same occurs in warm climates or cold climates.
  3. WindingRoad

    WindingRoad Songster

    Nov 21, 2018
    You might want to research your breeds. If a description of your bird says they lay 180 eggs a year that means that about six months of the year they don't lay an egg. And sometimes that 6 months might be all in a row or it might be divided up over the year. Also, winter, regardless of the cold is their break time.
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    How old are they. Older birds tend to take longer breaks in their laying cycle.
    aart likes this.
  5. be4morgan

    be4morgan Chirping

    Jan 1, 2019
    tamiep likes this.
  6. tamiep

    tamiep Songster

    Jun 3, 2016
    Oswego, IL 60543, USA
    I am in Illinois and I am having the same issue. They laid all winter last year and the year before, just not as many eggs. Only 2 hens molted and not severely, but after that no one laid.
  7. JerryR708

    JerryR708 Crowing

    I have 8 hens and none of them have laid any eggs this year except for my Easter Egger. She gave me a Happy New Year blue egg on Jan 1st or 2nd. Mine started molting around the end of October. Previous years, I have always collected an egg or two each day on the coldest and shortest days, but never like this. No eggs in 2 months for me except for the one New Year Gift. First time since owning chickens that I had to buy eggs at the store.
  8. Birdinhand

    Birdinhand Crowing

    May 23, 2016
    egg laying doesn't seem to have nearly as much to do with temperature as it does light. chickens are tropical in origin, they require a certain amount of light to ovulate. giving them adequate light in the winter is not about forcing egg laying in my book, instead it's about helping them be healthy. in the book "behavioral biology of chickens" studies are referenced that suggest that getting adequate light and proper layer formula and laying eggs virtually continuously is actually better for a chicken than allowing low light to interrupt ovulation. Low light is not good for chickens, seems to induce a kind of seasonal effective disorder. the total light window should be 12-14 hours. supplemental light needs to be 60W equivalent, I use LED to reduce fire hazard. low light can cause excess sleep and less eating, resulting in lower nourishment and weight loss.
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    It's about light, not temps....both duration of light and if the days are increasing or decreasing in length. Some of my birds started molting in mid August as that's when the days start decreasing exponentially....they can sense the change in the angle of the suns rays.
    Birdinhand likes this.

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