Chickens have almost completely stopped laying!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LindaChek, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. LindaChek

    LindaChek New Egg

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    Sep 16, 2013
    Our flock is all Orpingtons, about 10 mature hens (3-4 years old), one Big Papa buff Orpington roo and three not-quite mature roos that are being rehomed soon. We had three successful hatches over the summer and right now have 5 babies that hatched mid-September. On August 21, there was a helicopter fly-over in our neighborhood and the chopper ended up circling our acreage for 45 minutes or so, and it freaked the whole flock right out. They didn't lay again for almost a month, which I suppose is to be expected, but now all the hens from our summer hatches have matured and the rest of the flock is relatively young, so why the continued delay? Do they need more daylight now that it is dark earlier and if so, when should they have it? It is worth noting that the flock has about an acre to free-range all day and is very secure in their heated (when it's cold enough or snowing) house at night; I have checked the tall grass and the woods and have not found any eggs there. We are getting maybe 2 eggs a day and more often none. Please help!
     
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is most likely the time of the year. Shorter days prompt them to molt and stop laying. The older they are the longer it takes for them to recover from the molt and may wait til the days get longer. Spring hatches often start to lay before the winter sets in, but later in the summer hatches tend also to wait till the days get longer
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Your hens who are at the four year mark will take longer breaks when they molt now. They are living creatures and need rest from that laying function from time to time, especially as they age. I have two Orp hens left now, both going on 7 years old, one blue and one buff. They haven't laid in two years since their rooster passed away. I don't expect them to ever lay again, either.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2014
  4. KYTinpusher

    KYTinpusher Master Enabler

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    You are not alone. [​IMG] It is the time of year for molting and resting up for the winter months. I have 35 layers and I got 1 egg on Saturday. Most days I am getting 3-5. But I can gather you enough feathers to stuff a king-size featherbed! [​IMG]
     
  5. Coexist

    Coexist New Egg

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    Jul 31, 2014
    I had this happen to me last month. Turns out that they had started eating them. I go out twice a day now and make sure they know not to.
     
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I've never had that issue, the egg eating. Now, if an egg crushes or breaks accidentally, it's normal for them to eat it. That has never made mine egg eaters, never had one to break one on purpose to eat, but I make sure they are always getting the nutrition they need. If eggs are being eaten in the nests, you'll see or feel wet nest material most of the time.
     
  7. CBchick

    CBchick New Egg

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    Nov 6, 2014
    Thanks for your question. I needed the same help. Looks like waiting for Spring is the answer.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014

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