Chickens Not Laying. Advice Needed.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sunny & the 5 egg layers, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. sunny & the 5 egg layers

    sunny & the 5 egg layers Overrun With Chickens

    4,713
    159
    296
    Mar 29, 2011
    I have a flock of 8 chickens. 1 bantam rooster and 1 bantam hen, both were hatched in March 2012. Then I also have 6 standard sized hens, all were hatched in March 2011.

    The bantam hen is fine, she is laying well. The 6 big girls on the other hand, are not laying. I only have 1 hen laying out of all 6 hens. We get 1 egg every other day or so.

    I have no idea what is causing this. I have searched the coop and run to check for any eggs they could have hid, but didn't find any. I live in New England, and our weather has been nice and warm during the day (70's-80's). Everybody looks healthy, despite some not having neck feathers (likely due to feather pecking). They have plenty of run and coop space, but I have also been letting them free range a lot more during the day, to help with any boredom. They are on Dumor Layer pellets, and fresh water, with some occasionally table scraps every now and then.


    What could be causing my egg shortage? Are my 2 year old hens getting too old for laying?
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I would switch to a 20% protein feed like Flock Raiser or unmedicated chick starter, and put oyster shell on the side, just to see what would happen.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013
  3. mommycakes83

    mommycakes83 Out Of The Brooder

    83
    8
    48
    May 10, 2013
    Joplin Mo
    I'm in the same boat. My girls haven't layed in days.. It's shaded over their coop. Could light be an issue? They are on the "complete feed" no antibiotic.
     
  4. angel8035

    angel8035 Chillin' With My Peeps

    452
    27
    123
    Apr 1, 2012
    Applegate, California
    They are probably molting at this age if feathers are missing and no eggs.

    ETA 2 years is not too old - they will start again if they are just molting.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
  5. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,234
    110
    201
    Jan 16, 2012
    Texas


    It seems lately that someone asks this question every day.

    Your 6 hens are probably molting. The molt most often takes place in late summer or early fall.

    The molting process takes about 2 months in which egg laying will be greatly reduced because most of the protein intake is being used to grow new feathers. You do not need to change the diet of the chickens.

    Your hens should continue to be good egg-layers for a couple more years, other than the molting period each year.

    I would suggest bringing in pullets each spring and removing some older hens at about this time of year to keep your flock productive, unless you do not really care if you do not get many eggs for a couple of months each year.

    By the way, you said you have one hen that is laying. Are you sure you know that it is one particular hen that continues to lay eggs? It might be that between the six hens they are able to produce one egg a day during their molting period. Possibly.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
  6. mommycakes83

    mommycakes83 Out Of The Brooder

    83
    8
    48
    May 10, 2013
    Joplin Mo
    I just wanted to update. My girls are sick! Sneezy runny nose sick. Have them on antibiotics for 4 days so far, and although I will not be eating the eggs for a few weeks after their treatment, they are laying again!
     
  7. sunny & the 5 egg layers

    sunny & the 5 egg layers Overrun With Chickens

    4,713
    159
    296
    Mar 29, 2011
    Just an update on my hens, they still are not laying, it's been a while now, and I haven't got a single egg since July or August.

    Any advice?
     
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Wow no eggs still!

    I don't know what to tell you but you could go with a bigger coop and add new girls or get rid of your 5 ones who aren't laying. I like to have a lot of chickens so I don't have to worry about some of them not laying. But it depends on how much room you have or how many chickens you are allowed in your neighborhood, etc.

    Is it possible they are molting? You mentioned neck feathers missing, and they are at the right age for the big molt (being 2 years old and it being fall). Generally they can take a break from laying for several months when they are molting. They can molt so gradually that you don't really see a huge patch of missing feathers. You can help them by increasing the protein in the feed during molt.

    I hope this helps!
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/423023/why-arent-my-chickens-laying-here-are-your-answers
    good thread
     
  9. sunny & the 5 egg layers

    sunny & the 5 egg layers Overrun With Chickens

    4,713
    159
    296
    Mar 29, 2011
    Thanks for your input! Even my younger hen isn't laying now. I haven't got an egg from her in a while too.

    It seemed like my older girls molted in august-sept or so. I could tell by the hundreds of feathers everywhere. The girls all have beautiful feathers now (neck feathers grew in too!).

    I'm going to set up a light in the coop on a timer today and see how that works. I will keep this thread updated.

    Thanks.
     
  10. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Yes light can make a huge difference- give 14 hours is what I have read, and needs to be bright enough to read a newspaper at ground level (the level of the birds).
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by