Chickens Stopped Laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kazoo1111, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. kazoo1111

    kazoo1111 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When the weather started getting colder last month our chickens just completely stopped laying. They still have a warm coop and always have food and oyster shells available but they just stopped. We have 2 groups of chickens the first group is 1 1/2 yrs old and the other group is only about 1/2 a year old. We used to get an egg from each of our chickens daily, before they stopped. Any ideas on why they stopped and how to get them started again?
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Decreased daylight will slow down production dramatically. Also, in your older hens, they are likely molting. (replacing their feathers) They cannot lay eggs while molting, as their body needs all of their protein for growing in feathers. Once their feathers are replaced, they will get their body weight back to a healthy level before starting laying again. You can help by giving high protein snacks - mealworms, meat scraps, black oil sunflower seeds, or switching to a higher feed.
     
  3. kazoo1111

    kazoo1111 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! How long do you think it will take them to molt?
     
  4. mrsc1951

    mrsc1951 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Not all molt/regrow feathers at the same rate. Two years in a row mine had hard molts - meaning that they lost the majority of their feathers. They were such a pitiful looking lot and my yard looked like we had had multiple pillow fights. This year, however my light Brahmas only had a partial molt. They lost their tail feathers and some of their fluffy feathers but nowhere near what it had been. [​IMG] Just when you think you've got it figured out, they go and change things. As Happy Chooks said, they will need a little extra protein during this time. I use game bird feed during molts and occasionally give mealworms as treats.
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep. Average in my flock is about 3 months. Some molt a bit quicker, some a bit slower. It also depends on how much weight they lose during their molt.
     
  6. keeweekid

    keeweekid Out Of The Brooder

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    I looked up this thread because my two GL Wynadottes both went broody on me after only 1 or 2 months of egg laying maturity. They were at (separate times) and therefore no eggs, but then the first one started loosing feathers. They both were "broken" of sitting on nests as I have no rooster, and returned to walking around and roosting with the rest of the chickens, but still no eggs. They are only 7 mos old! Also, I thought molting would come later. The latter one is not molting but she hasn't laid an egg since going broody. This is all very confusing, and although the light is shorter, I still get at least an egg every other day from the rest of the flock. (Two RIRs and one Golden Comet.) Which, by the way are lovely birds. I have had nothing but problems with the GL Wynadottes. One is the highest on the pecking order and is therefore aggressive, and the other is the lowest and therefore is picked on and has become very skittish.
     

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