chicken not laying question


Nov 23, 2015
We are very new to chickens and have just gotten two birds (about a year old). They spent a few days getting acclimated then started laying. Everything went fine until one day the coop door was left open and one of the birds managed to take off not to be found... In order to avoid kids drama we quickly replaced the missing bird with another chicken that we don't have much information on. From this point on everything went downhill. The new chicken is aggressive to kids and is not laying. The old chicken started to molt and is not laying . I get bombarded with questions why are the chickens not laying... it has been about a month I am trying to get more information if there is a way to fix it or we need to scrap this chickens and start over. I know the first chicken is capable of laying and hopefully will start laying again after molt. But the second - new chicken remains a mystery....

From what I read, the colors of feet and beak the size of the vent indicators of chicken age. I will post some pictures of the new chicken in hope that you may be able to point out if it is just too old.

Don't know what to do.... Any suggestions are welcomed
Thank you

chickens can stop laying from stress and the shorten days we get in winter.,.. You can try adding light... or you can wait it out and see how well the hens get along and wait til spring to see if they lay again. Im sorry for your loss. My kids question everything so now I have hardy winter layers too. LOL
Welcome to BYC! and your birds got off to a bit of a rocky start.
It can be much fun and very enjoyable to keep chickens, but there's a pretty steep learning curve the first year or so.

First off, how long did you have them before the one went missing?
Did they tell you how old the birds were when/where you got them?
You can kinda tell a birds age from it's feet, vent, feathers, beak. comb/wattles, etc....but not with any real accuracy once they are over a year in age.

That bird looks to be over a year to me...but I doubt it's too old to lay by it's feet, really old chickens feet can get pretty funky.
Stress from the move and a new environment can put them off laying.
Shortening days can put them off laying, especially if over a year or so old....
...unless you use supplemental lights, but that's not an instant thing and you need to learn how it works and how to apply it for it to be effective.
Shortening days and/or stress can have them molting...which puts them off laying.

How old are your kids?
Might be a great learning opportunity about how food is 'made' vs. going to the grocery store and getting what you want right now.
"chickens are not vending machines"
ETA: Re: aggressive to the kids, birds are skittish and fearful, they are prey animals.
You must move slowly and calmly, talk quietly and not expect them to be cuddly and affectionate like dogs or cats.
A lot of chickens to do not like to be touched at all...tho you might be able to get them to eat out of your hand with a lot of time and patience.
Describing the aggression you are seeing, and the kids' movements/behavior/actions preceding aggression might help us help you to understand and maybe 'solve' or reduce it.

What to do?
Be patient...feed them patient....keep them dry and out of the patient.
If you don't want to be patient, scrap it.

To quote centrarchid..."Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."
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