All hens stopped laying 2 weeks ago.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by The Accidental Coop, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. The Accidental Coop

    The Accidental Coop Out Of The Brooder

    My three 1-1/2 year old bantams have not produced an egg in two weeks. This is a first. The girls appear to be happy and healthy. In the past I would let them out of the coop early in the morning and they would free range all day and only return to the nesting box to lay an egg the back out they would go. Of course, every evening they return, have treats and I close the coop until the next day. Now..... They leave the coop only for brief periods during the day, take a dust bath, eat a few bugs then head back to the nesting box. Our rooster has become very possessive and tries to keep them in the coop. Any thoughts?
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    124
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    18 months old is prime time for a molt. I've learned that they usually stop laying before you actually start seeing the feathers galore.
     
  3. The Accidental Coop

    The Accidental Coop Out Of The Brooder

    Thank you . They molted in June and July. My cochin is just getting the rest of her feathers in. They did lay during their molt, although not as well. How often do you think they will molt in one year?
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    124
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Usually just once a year.
    Mine went thru a mini-molt in the 7 to 9 month range, no decrease in egg laying at that time. Now @ 17 months, it's the full blown molt; no eggs, no feathers on the chickens.
    If it's only been about two months since yours molted though, you might have to look at other issues.
    Are they free ranging enough to be laying elsewhere? Folks have found eggs in some pretty strange places.
    Is the rooster stressing them out alot? Lots of stress = less eggs.
    Have you checked for mites?
    Sorry to answer your question with a question. Just trying to throw some possibilities out there for you.
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    124
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    One other thing to keep in mind. The days are getting shorter and quickly. Don't know how the weathers been where you are, but we've had alot of overcast dreary days.
    They could have just started their winter vacation early.
     
  6. The Accidental Coop

    The Accidental Coop Out Of The Brooder

    Thank you for all your help. We live on the central Florida coast. Hot and sunny here. No mites.....No eggs in the yard that I can find. They are very good about going to the same spots once out and about. If it is a full blown molt it is not going to be their best look . Think they will be game for sunscreen, tee shirts and margaritas by the pond?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by