can hens become sterile

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by suzychri, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. suzychri

    suzychri In the Brooder

    May 1, 2011
    Last year, I had a flock of 8 hens and one rooster, all around two years old. Around August 2013, the hens completely stopped laying. Not a single egg up until I finally gave them away in February 2014. Once the coop was empty, I cleaned it thoroughly, I dug out the old dirt in the pen and replaced it with fresh dirt. I eradicated any mice, and have had no mice sightings since. I hatched a new batch in March, and they started laying around July. They were laying great...until a month ago. Once again, egg production has completely come to a halt. I haven't gotten a single egg since, nor any broken shells or such that would suggest the eggs were being broken and/or eaten. There are no rat snakes and no mice. The person who took my previous flock told me that the hens never started laying again.

    I have raised chickens my entire life, and this has never happened before, and I've never heard of it happening to anyone else. My breeds are good egg laying breeds. The halt in production has spanned all seasons, so weather changes don't explain it. I've done supplements, vitamins, etc. I am at a total loss.

    This isn't a case of "low production". It's "NO production"! Has anyone ever heard of this? My hens seem to have become sterile or infertile or whatever you call it.
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    I'm wondering if it's not something in the soil in the area where you have the coop. Or could it be from chemical sprays? Do you have any corn fields or soybean fields nearby? I'm a beekeeper as well as a chicken keeper, and so farmer's use of chemicals always comes to mind. It can be damaging.
  3. suzychri

    suzychri In the Brooder

    May 1, 2011
    Thanks for your reply! I've had my coop in the same place for the past 12 years, and the only "land" near the coop is mine and my parents. It's really the most baffling thing ever and so frustrating because I can't find anything anywhere that can give me an idea as to what it could be. Maybe my soil is contaminated from the previous years of chickens living on it? UGH!
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Same feeds? Same breeds? Any use of supplemental lighting for winter laying?

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