Chickens stopped laying eggs

Droneandchicken

Chirping
Jun 20, 2020
48
94
64
I have 6 Golden Laced Wyandottes (5 hens and 1 rooster) up until about a month ago I was getting 5 eggs a day. Then my girls started multing and the egg laying dropped and came to a hault. I bought them feather fixer feed to help with their multing and mixed with their egg layer feed. All my girls appear to be fully feathered again (my roo is still growing in new feathers) but their egg laying has only been 1 or 2 eggs here and there. I'm in south central PA so it is getting cold now but even in the winter last year I got 3 or 4 eggs still. They are 1 yr. 6mth old. Any suggestions on what could be wrong, if anything? I'm more concerned about their health not that I'm not getting eggs.
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,982
832
California's Redwood Coast
Any suggestions on what could be wrong, if anything? I'm more concerned about their health not that I'm not getting eggs.
Hi there, hope you are enjoying BYC! :frow

Lat year your birds were still young and most lay through winter then.

Most birds do NOT lay during molt and usually don;t return to lay until daylight increases.. since lay hormone is regulated BY light and not temperature.

Feather fixer.. used to have sulfur in it and claim to combat mites.. but now usually has a little more protein and amino acids than "layer" which are both good for molt however the excess calcium in Feather Fixer is NOT needed for birds NOT in lay.. like your rooster.

Since making the switch to FLOCK RAISER with oyster shell on the side for active layer.. my older birds enter molt less harshly than year past AND return to lay sooner.. than when I used "layer". Feathers are made of 90% protein and it's amino acids..

Dual purpose birds like Wyandottes will do best with at least 18% protein. The 16% in most layer feeds is meant to keep light bodied breed like Leghorn in laying condition.

Birds not in lay.. like those molting, brooding, juveniles, and roosters.. should NOT be fed calcium in excess of 3% long term as it could (doesn't mean will), stunt growth, delay onset of laying, cause gout, and even kidney issues including failure and sudden death. Most will presume heart attack if they don't get a necropsy.. Most likely to happen in birds genetically predisposed somehow.. But not worth the long term risk to me.. as I've too much invested in my flock. I never use layer anymore and the difference is evident!

Adding your general location to your profile can help folks make their best suggestion possible at a glance. Most places in the northern hemisphere (I did see you said PA), are approaching out shortest day of the year on the 21st. As day light starts to increase again.. our birds will start to lay again! Some folks use artificial lighting to manipulate laying, It just adds to boredom for me so we go natural.. but you might consider it.

I wouldn't say you are doing anything wrong though. You might also check for external parasites like lice or mites.. but molting is one way they do naturally combat that. Checking after dark with a flashlight will give you the BEST picture.. part feathers below the bent and on the abdomen and look for angry red skin or crawlies running away or "dried dirt clumps" on feather shafts that weren't molted out. Feel free to post photos to show bird condition if you'd like some reassurance.

The only other things I can mention.. make sure you're not feeding excess treats. And consider having a (group) fecal float done to check internal parasite species and load and see IF anything needs treating and make sure to use the correct medication IF so.

Anyways, your flock sounds lovely and 1 month isn't that long yet for molt. I'd love to see a photo of them anyways, just because! :D
 

MissMonty

Songster
5 Years
Sep 12, 2015
497
986
186
Dayton, OH
Most chickens stop laying in the winter and I wouldn't be too worried about it as long as they're acting fine otherwise. Back when we had 12+ chickens we would be lucky to get 2-3 eggs a day in the winters where in the summers we were getting 1 per day per chicken.

Some people use supplemental lighting to help keep up egg production in the winters but for me I just expect the girls to be free loaders in the winter
 

Droneandchicken

Chirping
Jun 20, 2020
48
94
64
@EggSighted4Life Thank you for the help these are my first chickens and I love them like children. I check them for mites on them pretty regularly. I feed them natures best organic egg layer crumbles, but you feel a flock raiser would be better? I don't ever want to eat them I just want them to be happy healthy and grow old with me lol. I do prefer to feed them organic if you have any suggestions. Their molting wasn't severe for them compared to pictures I've seen for other people. They didn't even really get naked. I do feed them treats from time to time but not in excess I try to read up on anything I can to keep them healthy. I am current trying to breed my own meal worms for future treats. Thank you for all the info!
 

Droneandchicken

Chirping
Jun 20, 2020
48
94
64
Here's my babies this summer
 

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EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,982
832
California's Redwood Coast
I feed them natures best organic egg layer crumbles, but you feel a flock raiser would be better?
You could also use an organic grower or starter with oyster shell on the side.. but 100% yes I think it will better long term choice for your rooster and the older ladies if you use something with less calcium mixed into it. Regarding protein and amino acid content.. your birds don't appear to dong without. They're about in their prime really at this age still and making it through molt without missing a beat! Even organic feeds have synthetic amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.. and I hadn't seen organic Feather Fixer.. It's important to use what YOU are comfortable with and can find on regular basis in YOUR location, with a fresh mill date, under 6 weeks, in a price range you can accept and so on.. With a large flock.. I might mix bag of starter and layer to get closer to where I wish to be.. But with only 6 birds.. that may not be a great option.. so just think on it some and do what makes sense to YOU and switch it up as needed.. it seems like you've pretty well got a good foundation.

Meal worms (especially live) are fun treat, here is some nutritional information..
mealworms

Here's my babies this summer
They ARE lovely and the pup was a bonus! :love
 

Droneandchicken

Chirping
Jun 20, 2020
48
94
64
@EggSighted4Life Thank you again I believe Nature's best has a grower feed available too. I've been giving them oyster shell calcium in a dish since they've started laying, so they can pick at when they want. I did notice since they started molting they haven't been interested in it. I'm definitely going to look into switching them over. The feather fixer I gave them wasn't organic but I wanted to make sure they were getting what they needed while molting.
 

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