All of our 2 Yr. old chickens stopped laying months ago!! Can't figure it out!

Lupulin

Hatching
Nov 8, 2018
10
4
9
We have 6 layers all different breeds. For the first 1 1/2 years they all laid eggs like crazy. Then, over the course of about 2 months they dramatically slowed down and over the past 4+ months we have hardly gotten any eggs at all! I've read lots of the "reasons hens stop laying" articles on the web but can't seem to pin our particular problem on anything obvious.

They are each different breeds and were great layers for 1 1/2 years. Their environment has not changed. Their diet has not changed. Their behaviors and appearance hasn't changed. They stopped laying months ago - in early summer, so it can't be simply seasonal/sunshine changes (besides they laid all through the winter last year - we keep a timed light in the coop). They've all gone through molting (at different times for each chicken) and the cessation pre-dated the molts. They don't seem stressed. Never seen any brooding behaviors. They always laid in the coop and we have checked in the yard but found no hidden nests. No evidence of egg eating behaviors that we have seen. No lice or mites. No evidence of sickness (at least no symptoms).

We are at our wits end!

A friend of mine who also has chickens said this happened to him also in the past, similarly at around year 2. He assumed this is what happens as chickens get older, so he now cycles through new chickens every 2 years, but I've never seen anything about this type of thing in online resources. Most say they can slow down production as they age, or something similar. We love out chicks and won't be able to bring ourselves to get rid of them, but we also miss our eggs. Wish we could do something to get the gals laying again.

ANY ideas????
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 3, 2009
119,050
340,467
1,977
New Jersey
:welcome They have reached the point in life where they are ready to take a break in the laying cycle. They very likely have molted and are still regaining condition. They very likely will start laying again in the spring as day length increases. Many folks do the same thing as your friend and add a few new/young birds to the flock each year so the flock is made up of birds of varying ages.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,064
125,841
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
(besides they laid all through the winter last year - we keep a timed light in the coop).
How long is the light running each day...and do your run it all year of just in fall/winter??
What breeds?

Might be time for a butt check....
....if pelvic points are spread, lock em up:
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 a week or so 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 and maybe run 24/7 for a few days to a week, provided you have adequate space and ventilation, 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.

Oh, and, Welcome to BYC!
Where in this world are you located?
Climate is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, then it's always there!
upload_2018-11-8_18-16-33.png
 

Bettyboop7499

Songster
Mar 25, 2018
584
829
232
Traverse City, MI
We have 6 layers all different breeds. For the first 1 1/2 years they all laid eggs like crazy. Then, over the course of about 2 months they dramatically slowed down and over the past 4+ months we have hardly gotten any eggs at all! I've read lots of the "reasons hens stop laying" articles on the web but can't seem to pin our particular problem on anything obvious.

They are each different breeds and were great layers for 1 1/2 years. Their environment has not changed. Their diet has not changed. Their behaviors and appearance hasn't changed. They stopped laying months ago - in early summer, so it can't be simply seasonal/sunshine changes (besides they laid all through the winter last year - we keep a timed light in the coop). They've all gone through molting (at different times for each chicken) and the cessation pre-dated the molts. They don't seem stressed. Never seen any brooding behaviors. They always laid in the coop and we have checked in the yard but found no hidden nests. No evidence of egg eating behaviors that we have seen. No lice or mites. No evidence of sickness (at least no symptoms).

We are at our wits end!

A friend of mine who also has chickens said this happened to him also in the past, similarly at around year 2. He assumed this is what happens as chickens get older, so he now cycles through new chickens every 2 years, but I've never seen anything about this type of thing in online resources. Most say they can slow down production as they age, or something similar. We love out chicks and won't be able to bring ourselves to get rid of them, but we also miss our eggs. Wish we could do something to get the gals laying again.

ANY ideas????

Is it possible that something is getting the eggs? It is very odd that different breeds would just stop laying at the same time, just not likely to happen...either they may be eating them or something else? I've read they can eat the eggs and never leave a trace...how about a trail camera to see what is going on in the nest? Good Luck!
 

Skipper81

" For my yoke is easy and my burden is light "
Feb 11, 2018
870
1,601
257
Middle Tennessee
I think There eating the eggs and shells as soon as they are layed they probably all run over and it’s gone in 2 seconds I’ve seen this before
Use mustard egg technique
I believe you have a more serious case than I had
It takes about 2 mustard eggs within 1 day for my 50 birds and egg production is back
If this is the case for you it has been months I would repeat 2 times for 3 days
Honestly as far as I know your situation can only be egg eaters or laying in woods or the likes but you’d see an egg somewhere
Put your hand on all your hens backs to see if they squat because that means they are laying
There’s really no other way all your girls that young would stop in summer for that long someone would lay at least one egg once
If you don’t know how to do the mustard egg thing I will make a video because I don’t mind reminding my flock that eating eggs taste like mustard lol
P.S. have water available for them so think can drink after they try mustard eggs they hate the taste
I usually toss the mustard egg in the middle of entire flock like it’s a treat so every single bird tries it
If you put in in nesting box or something you might not get everybirds attention
You’ll have to retrieve the egg when they decide there done trying it they won’t eat the whole thing
To confirm if they are eating them toss a store bought egg in front of them and back away for a few if they are eating eggs they won’t be able to resist
Sorry such a long post
 
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Bettyboop7499

Songster
Mar 25, 2018
584
829
232
Traverse City, MI
I'm going try this mustard egg myself! I think mine starting eating their eggs, I picked up an egg out of the nest and one of the hens ran over and pecked it! Like "hey I didn't know that one was there" and a couple months ago I started having random egg counts 4..2...3..0.. never knew!

My husband would throw the cracked eggs to the pigs, the chickens being the curious animals that they are would run over and found that they LOVED eggs! Soon after that my numbers started falling...
 

oldhen2345

Crowing
5 Years
Jun 22, 2015
1,191
5,508
361
East Texas
I put a mustard egg out this morning- within seconds- I mean, I had not even reached the gate yet - Flora (avatar) ran over and started pecking at the egg. Hmm. I think I found the culprit. Tomorrow, another mustard egg will be placed in the run. Hopefully in a couple of days, I will see eggs in the nesting boxes again.
 

Bettyboop7499

Songster
Mar 25, 2018
584
829
232
Traverse City, MI
I put a mustard egg out this morning- within seconds- I mean, I had not even reached the gate yet - Flora (avatar) ran over and started pecking at the egg. Hmm. I think I found the culprit. Tomorrow, another mustard egg will be placed in the run. Hopefully in a couple of days, I will see eggs in the nesting boxes again.

Yep that is exactly what mine do. I'm glad that you were able to find out the answer to your issue and it seems to be relatively simple to fix! Good Luck! Please let us know if this works.
 

MANNA-PRO

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