Are my hens on strike? Stopped laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by myskydolphin, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. myskydolphin

    myskydolphin Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 8, 2013
    Northern California
    I have 4 hens. (1) Buff Orpington who is about 2.5 years old, (1) Silver Laced Wyandotte also 2.5 years old, (1) Golden Wyandotte that will be 2 in May and (1) Brown Leghorn who also will be 2 in May. All of the girls have been laying fine - all summer long I had more eggs than I could handle. Come fall and winter (I am in CA so it's not that cold at all) three of my girls stopped producing. They were losing and getting new feather so I get the halt - initially - but now it's been 3 months and the only hen laying is the Leghorn.

    Any ideas of the laying time before Henopause? I think I pretty much got 9 months out of the Wyandotte and about a year and a half from my Buff. As my son says, "Mom! We can't live on one egg a day!" Everyone is happy, healthy and they all look great, nice looking and very active but just not laying. I want to get a few more so that we can have eggs again. But I don't know if they are on a break or if they might start laying again.

    These girls are also pets so eating them for meat is not really an option. I really don't think I could bring myself to do it. If they were bred for meat then we wouldn't have named them and loved them and made them a part of the family.
    So, I am kind of stuck.

    Any help, advice, experience etc is GREATLY appreciated.
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    Mar 27, 2012
    Vermont
    My Coop
    Hello! Chickens stop laying during a molt; they need all their energy to regrow their feathers. Also, many birds over a year old stop laying during wintertime, when the daylight hours are shorter. Laying is driven by hormones, and with the shorter daylight hours they don't get enough light to trigger their hormones and lay. They will probably lay again once the days lengthen, or you could add a light to their coop to create 14 hours a day of light for them, and they will start laying.
     
  3. myskydolphin

    myskydolphin Out Of The Brooder

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    24
    Sep 8, 2013
    Northern California
    Thanks! They haven't laid for about 3 months so it's a long siesta in my opinion. I am well aware of the need to produce new feathers and the time it takes to do that as well as the fact that laying stops for this process. All four hens stopped laying for a time however one is laying and has been all through winter. they get sun from 7am to about 5pm and that doesn't seem to effect the leghorn a bit. . I will give it a bit more time. I just thought that perhaps someone on BYC would have experience with these breeds and how long they typically lay for. If they are done, I need to get a few more girls. If they are just on winter break then another month or so they should be up and running again I would guess.

    Thanks again for the input. Take care.
     
  4. myskydolphin

    myskydolphin Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    24
    Sep 8, 2013
    Northern California
    Thanks! They haven't laid for about 3 months so it's a long siesta in my opinion. I am well aware of the need to produce new feathers and the time it takes to do that as well as the fact that laying stops for this process. All four hens stopped laying for a time however one is laying and has been all through winter. they get sun from 7am to about 5pm and that doesn't seem to effect the leghorn a bit. . I will give it a bit more time. I just thought that perhaps someone on BYC would have experience with these breeds and how long they typically lay for. If they are done, I need to get a few more girls. If they are just on winter break then another month or so they should be up and running again I would guess.

    Thanks again for the input. Take care.
     

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