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Chickens just not laying (but one)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by beaches4me, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. beaches4me

    beaches4me Songster

    Jun 2, 2012
    Clifton Forge, VA
    We got some chickens about two or three months ago. The people who we got them from said they had been laying 14 or more eggs a day between them all. We got 20 hens and 2 roosters. since then, we have fed them only layer feed, plenty of water when needed and new scratching material when needed to play in. We were told they were a year old. They looked pretty rough when we first got them like they had been kept in too small of a pen and started turning on each other picking out feathers from their hind ends, or possibly it was a sign they were molting, I'm not sure. They are growing their feathers back and seeming to be more bushy and happy with the room they have to run and roost and roll around in lol! But still, we only have one hen, she is a beautiful girl for sure, but only one who will lay out of the 20 hens. Most of the hens are RIR's but there are some others mixed in and I'm not sure what most of the others are, except blondie, she is a big purty buff orpington and the rooster was never picked on I don't believe cause he has all of his feathers and is really a handsome man. But, well my husband is getting frustrated and I have explained to him about molting that it could take months to finish, but it has been that long since we have had them, and the daylight changes, we added supplemental light in their play area but still, only one egg. any suggestions as to what could be going on after all of this time? I would really like to have something more solid to tell my hubby that we might be doing wrong or need to feed them that would really help them get going again. Any and all suggestions and help will be very very much greatly APPRECIATED!! Thank you all, in advance!!


  2. SIMZ

    SIMZ Crowing

    Apr 29, 2011
    Northwest Indiana
    It sounds like they are most likely molting or simply slowing down from the decrease in daylight this time of year. I"m not sure how your coop is set up, but you want the light to be where they are when they roost and wake up in the morning.
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    They will need 15 hours of daylight, so if you are lighting and the days are 10 hours long, then you need to add 5 hours of light. I don't light my coop and I'm getting 1-2 eggs a day out of 30 hens. It's just the time of year with shorter daylight and molting. And you are correct, molting can take months. How are their combs looking? Once they grow in all their feathers and get their body weight back up, then their combs will turn bright red again. This is a sign that they are ready to start laying again.

    On the bright side, December 21st is right around the corner - the days will start getting longer soon!
  4. citychickx6

    citychickx6 Songster

    May 14, 2011

    Last year we added light and had far more eggs. We also had a lot of picking going on. This year we are not adding light and have not had a picking issue. Our temps have not been really cold yet but the egg count is down dramatically from last year.
    I am going to wait it out and let them have the break they need.
    Out of 17 hens we have been getting between a big fat 0 and six eggs a day. Most days it has been only 3 and they are from the pullets.
    I have 3 Easter Eggers that have not layed a single egg since July. [​IMG]
    Patience seems to be the answer.

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