Baffled? Hens not laying!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jetrock, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. jetrock

    jetrock Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 21, 2009
    Leetonia, Ohio
    I have 10 RIR hens. About 2 months ago they suddenly stopped laying. I was getting nearly an egg a day from them. They are only 2 years old. Now i am only getting 2-3 eggs a day. There has been no change in their diet nor do they have worms. I don't know if ii was the heat or what. The temps are nice now, so they should have recovered. And besides, last year was just as hot and they didn't slow down. Any thought would be appreciated!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    There are a few different things that can cause them to really slow down like that. Stress, like from the heat or things like them running out of water or a predator attack can really slow them down. Adding new chickens or changing their coop can cause it. They do recover, but sometimes it takes longer than you'd think. High heat is a real possibility.

    It is possible they are molting. It seems early, but different things can trigger a molt. All of them do not always molt at the same time. If you are seeing extra feathers laying around, suspect this.

    A very normal cause of something like this is that they are hiding a nest from you. I don't know how you manage them, but you might want to leave them locked in the coop and run for a day or two to see what happens to your egg count if they currently have the ability to hide a nest from you.

    Something else real high on my possible list is that something is getting the eggs. Wirh some things, if they were eating the eggs, you'd probably see some evidence, either egg shells or wet or stained spots. But sometimes the chickens will clean up the shells if say a possum is eating some eggs. It could be the chickens themselves, but after two months, I'd think you would have found evidence. Some things don't leave evidence, though. A dog comes to mind immediately, but there could be others. A human normally does not leave evidence either. I would not think it is a snake. A snake usually does not visit every day and takes a limited number when it does visit. If it has been as regular as I think you re saying, snakes are pretty far down my list of suspects. If you lock them in and the egg count does go up, it may not be that they are hiding a nest. It could be that you are locking out a dog, fox, or something else that is eating them.

    Way down on my list is disease. It is possible, but you would probably be seeing other symptoms.

    I can't say definitely what is happening. You are looking at them and I'm not. Good luck!
     
  3. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Hi Jetrock---

    good luck, check the heat by the hens...sometimes it is higher than we think.

    Rigerunner----
    Awesome psot
     
  4. jetrock

    jetrock Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 21, 2009
    Leetonia, Ohio
    Thanks for the thoughts. They don't free range, so their eggs aren't hidden. They are free of predators.No molt yet.No sign of disease, all appear very healthy. Just a head scratcher
    I guess!
     

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