Chickens have stopped laying! What could be the cause?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dkosh, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. dkosh

    dkosh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 6, 2010
    Eastern MA
    I'm in south eastern MA, I have about 250 chickens. I usually get at least 12-15 dozen a day. Just recently they came to almost a total halt in egg laying, down to 5 dozen a day. No change in diet or routine. Weather has been fine.... What the heck is happening????? Anyone else in the area experiencing a decrease in egg production? Any thoughts from anyone???
     
  2. ellie32526

    ellie32526 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 21, 2012
    North Texas
    Anything else going on? Seems like you might be having some sort of illness sweeping through your flock. Do all your hens appear normal? Feathers, feet, wheezing, drainage, worms? So hard to tell from your first post.
     
  3. Hollywoodandme

    Hollywoodandme New Egg

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    Aug 24, 2013
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    What breed are they and how old ? A while ago one of my pens was robbed by foxes :/ the pen nearest to them stopped laying for a bit. We thought it was maybe because they could sense the attack ? :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
  4. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    How old are your chickens? When chickens reach about a little over a year of age, they stop laying and molt. And, when chickens get to be 3-4 years of age, egg production decreases. Besides molting and old age, external stresses, such as excessive heat/cold, rough handling, predators, external or internal parasites, overmating, and over crowding can cause chickens to stop laying. Disease can cause egg production to decrease, too.

    I would check at least some of your birds (obviously, you aren't going to check all 250) for mites and/or lice. You might also consider worming them, though this will mean that the eggs won't be able to be eaten for a few days. Additionally, watch for signs of disease, such as sneezing, coughing, discharge from the nostrils, lethargy, bloody droppings, swollen faces, and difficulty walking.
     
  5. dkosh

    dkosh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They range from 2yo to 8 months. I rotate my ages. They all appear healthy. I have had a bad fox problem this past 2 weeks. We shot one but there is at least 3 more. We are checking all the fencing and actively searching for the other 3 foxes. I didn't realize they would stop laying with a predator problem. This is the first time the predators have been a problem. We better get hunting!
     
  6. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    The predators themselves might not cause the problem, but the constant stress of being hunted can. Solving the fox problem could very well get your hens laying again.
     
  7. dkosh

    dkosh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Eastern MA
    Well the game cam is on it's way up. Gun is now out and ready. I hope we can get the girls feeling safe again and back to our old routine. I hope it doesn't take too long to solve the problem. I hope that is the only reason. I've been perplexed, because they have no other symptoms that I have seen in the past that have caused them to stop laying. The fox had their first kill about 3 weeks ago when we were on vacation. I realized the minute we drove in the driveway we had chickens eaten by something because there was feathers in the field. We started fixing it right away. We saw a fox eating something in the farm road from our upstairs. My husband shot it and when my husband went down to the fox it was a chicken it was eating.
     

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