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Chicken Stopped Lay for the Winter and Won't Start Again

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Phyz, Mar 15, 2016.

  1. Phyz

    Phyz Hatching

    Oct 25, 2015
    I have an 11 1/2-month-old Ameraucana hen. She is my only Ameraucana, so I know for certain when she does and doesn't lay. She layed eggs in the nesting boxes last fall and was a rather good layer, producing around 5 or 6 a week. She stopped laying when it got cold and dark and I wasn't terribly concerned. We did light our coop during the winter, but still saw a slight drop in production. It's spring now and the other 6 hens in my flock are laying 6 or 7 times a week. I get 5 or 6 eggs every day. I'm still lighting the coop like I did in the winter. This little Ameraucana, however, hasn't started up again. She doesn't free range and there isn't a lot of excitement in the run where she could have a secret stash. We have thoroughly checked the coop a number of times and there are no rogue eggs there either. Once, about a month ago, we did find part of a green shell when we were stirring bedding, but that's all we have seen of her eggs.

    I think there are three options for what is going on here. Either she isn't laying (and why not?), she is laying and is eating her own eggs (but why not eat the others?), or she has a secret stash I just haven't found (I've looked, really I have). Do any of you have any ideas? Have you had a hen eat her own eggs, but not the others' eggs? If so, how did you break this behavior? If she just isn't laying, why not?
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016

  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    If she's a true Ameraucana than they don't lay well and will often not resume laying until about April or May, if she's an EE, than again I've had very poor laying EE that also start late, stop early and don't lay a lot of eggs, both are mostly bred for egg color not production.
  3. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Enabler Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    I have had horrible luck with the EE's also. Mine tended to lay thin shelled eggs so they were often broken and eaten by the flock. Perhaps she is trying to start up but is laying thin eggs.
  4. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Crowing

    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    I've had great luck with EEs the 3 times I had them in the last 10 years. They have laid at 18-20 weeks, laid all winter & laid 5-6 eggs a week. All of them laid green/blue eggs also.

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