Can laying be encouraged?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cwaterbury, Aug 29, 2016.

  1. cwaterbury

    cwaterbury New Egg

    Sep 7, 2015
    On other threads I see that sometimes a hen just doesn't lay eggs. I got 6 chicks and one turned out to be a rooster. I kept him because he's absolutely gorgeous. The 5 hens (2 RIR, 2 PBR, and 1 Americauna) all started laying at about 22 weeks. After a couple weeks, one of the Reds just stopped. Maybe she's laid 1 egg in the past 4 months. We live in Florida, so she's not too cold or not getting enough sunlight. They eat organic, soy-free, non-gmo 100% grain feed. They free-range most of the day on 1/2 acre. They also get oyster shell, mealworms, and occasional fruit or kitchen scraps. Her feathers look great, she gets along with the rest of the flock, and she seems perfectly happy with her life. Is there anything I can do to kickstart her laying mechanism again?
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicks are a-hatching Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    The best you can do is optimize nutrition. Keeping overall daily protein intake at 16-18%, and keeping stress down and your hens comfortable and happy. A lot has to do with genetics age, and time of year after that.
  3. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 25, 2015
    Hace lots of hay in the nest boxes and make it comfortable and.make it to where she cannot see the others.She could be at point of lay.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    What's the protein percentage of your feed? As a production bird, she may need a protein boost. Not sure how much she'd be getting from meal worms. You might try a higher protein feed, or some meat, cooked beans, things like that.

    You say she's free range, do you know for sure she's not hiding eggs? Have you tried confining her?
  5. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 2, 2014
    Canton, Ohio
    Yep, she could be laying and hiding them, one of my RIR, I thought quit laying for weeks and here it is she's actually buried them under the poop boards covering them w/ pine shavings like a cat covering its litter.[​IMG]
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    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 3-4 days (or longer) 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 24/7 for a few days to a week, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.

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