BSL stopped laying...is she a 'dud'?

poppyflock

In the Brooder
May 15, 2016
41
1
34
Seattle, WA
Hey all, I've searched the forum for this particular problem and haven't found much. I have a mixed flock of 5 hens that are 13 months old. Everyone's laying really well except my black sex link, Rosa. She hasn't laid ONE egg in the last four months (maybe longer).

We did use supplemental lighting last fall and part of winter (because they almost all stopped laying without it!). We slowly tapered off the supplemental light as I don't want to make it a habit. We still use supplemental lighting for a couple hours in the morning after the sun is up. I do this because the coop hardly gets any early morning sun due to location in the yard.

Anywayyy...it seems like the only time she lays is when we have supplemental lighting all day. Might be a coincidence since they free range until dusk so they're out of the coop most of the day. I've scoured our yard dozens of times for a hidden nest (and found one of the other girls' hidden nests!), but no Rosa eggs. I'm 99% sure she's not laying because she always had the loudest, most obnoxious egg song so she'd definitely make it known if she was laying! ☺️

She's appears to be healthy, no lice or mites, no trauma/stress that I'm aware of. She *does* seem a bit overweight at this point, probably because she eats as much as everyone else and doesn't use any of those calories to make eggs!

They get Nutrena Layer feed with 16% protein. Yesterday I bought a bag of feed with 22% protein that I'm going to try mixing with their regular feed. Does anyone think this might help?

I'm attempting to attach a couple pics of her...she's the black one. :) Thanks in advance for any advice, tips, similar experiences, etc!!
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Tlmcq

Songster
Mar 17, 2017
1,496
1,204
236
Pomeroy, OH
If your are sure she isn't laying you can try a natural egg laying stimulant like Majoram, which is good for reproductive health in general, or parsley, which is also high in nutrients, or Comfrey which is rich in protein, potassium, calcium and is good for general health and laying. She may be just be adjusting to lighting situation as lots of things can throw off laying. As long as she isn't egg bound or ill she should be laying, and quite well I might add as the BSL are excellent layers.
 

poppyflock

In the Brooder
May 15, 2016
41
1
34
Seattle, WA
@Tlmcq thanks so much for the suggestions on plants to help with egg laying. I'm an avid veggie gardener but don't have any of the plants you suggested...I'll definitely head to the nursery and get marjoram, parsley and comfrey.

I agree that she should be a very efficient layer. When I was researching types of chickens, I decided on sex links based on the fact that they're such good layers. We got one red and one black sex link (Rosa). Our red sex link is the best layer around- lays big huge dark brown eggs every day and hardly ever takes a break. Unfortunately not the case with Rosa. :-/ Thanks again for the plant suggestions! I really appreciate it and will definitely give it a try.
 

Windy_Acres

Songster
Mar 3, 2015
118
139
141
Ontario, Canada
Her comb is so big and red, I'd guess she is laying and you aren't finding her eggs. Combs usually lighten up when chickens stop laying for a while. I'd try locking her in the coop for a few days, see what happens.
 

poppyflock

In the Brooder
May 15, 2016
41
1
34
Seattle, WA
@ChickenMammX4 based on the color of her comb, I agree she looks like she's laying. All 5 of our birds have very distinct egg shapes/colors so I'm pretty darn sure she's not laying (in the egg box, at least).

@TJs chicklets thats a really good idea. We have a very small run area directly off the coop so I think I'll confine them all to the coop/run for a couple days and see if she lays. I'm sure they will protest loudly...I'll have to do it this weekend as I work night shifts and have to sleep during the day. ☺️ I guess if she is laying in the yard somewhere, a predator could be taking the eggs at night? We do have some raccoons in the neighborhood.

Thanks everyone for your helpful advice!!!
 

poppyflock

In the Brooder
May 15, 2016
41
1
34
Seattle, WA
Just wanted to update y'all...still no eggs from Rosa. We even locked her up in the coop for a few days but no eggs.

HOWEVER- there's been a plot twist....for the last 4 days or so, she's been CROWING at sunrise. Not a full-on rooster crow, but the kind of crow you hear from a young rooster who's just figuring out how to crow.

To clarify, she is *definitely* female. No question about that. But she's crowing at sunrise now.

I've been researching and read that this happens occasionally, especially in an all-female flock. She's the most dominant hen in our flock and we don't have a rooster.

Has anyone experienced anything like this before?
 

chicchickmama77

Songster
May 12, 2016
59
35
106
Florida
I'm so happy I came across this thread! I just posted about the same problem!

This is what I wrote:
"So we have 1 1/2 year old black sex link and almost 3 months ago she stopped laying. We thought she was molting bc she lost some feathers, but after a month she stopped so we waited. At some point her comb got paler and she looked sick but we thought it was from molting. Now her comb is bright red, she is looking very healthy, but still no eggs. I checked for mites and her skin is clean and white. She has plenty of water and pellets, plus I've been giving other good protein treats. I even checked her vent and it's plump and looks healthy. Any what could be going on???"

I was hoping you got some answers. It's been driving me mad bc I want to know whats going on. She is free range, but there are no eggs outside in other areas. Hopefully we get answers soon, and/or they start laying again.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,691
130,560
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Has anyone experienced anything like this before?
Have a hen that crows, a real cockledoodledoo, when she is not actively laying.
It's odd that her comb is SO red...but maybe that is part of the 'male hormones' she is probably excreting. I have read about hens behaving and looking like cockbirds, much variance in the mix of behavior and looks and the longevity of each.
 

GC-Raptor

Free Ranging
Jul 26, 2016
5,168
9,799
621
Connecticut, USA
Check her vent by lifting up her tail feathers. if she's laying it will be huge and moist. Also don't overlook she may have turned into an egg eater, if her vent looks like she's laying. GC
 

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