Does anyone else's hen's stop laying?

DEBRA56

Songster
9 Years
Mar 3, 2012
59
16
106
Puyallup, WA
I have 6 hens that are just over 2 years old & have NOT got any eggs now for a week. 2 just stopped brooding & 1 just got over molting. They are fed well getting no salt canned veggies, fruit & Purina premium layena pellets with oyster shell. They are not acting sick either. Any feedback is appreciated :) They also free range in a grassy area, spoiled they are :)
 

adstowe

Songster
Aug 8, 2016
387
517
181
Colorado
"2 just stopped brooding & 1 just got over molting" combine that with lower hours of light... Not surprising. 8 of my hens are in various stages of molting or just finished. I THINK one may be laying again. The only reason I get any eggs is my four pullets.
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,047
4,195
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
Different strains or breeds of hens lay on don't lay on their own schedule.
Egg production is the reason that some chickens are bred to never set because every time a hen sits she loses at least 6 weeks of egg production. When coupled with the annual molt this means that most hens back then only were productive for like 6 months per year. In the 19th Century hens in the United States only laid about 7 or 8 dozen eggs per year. That is 84 to 96 eggs out of a total of 365 days.

The fact that anywhere from 40 to 90% of Americans lived on farms back then is the only reason that any eggs at all were available to the farm wife of the time. The 1870 Censes was the first one in which a majority of the American population no longer lived on the land or earned their living from agriculture. This change in work habits ushered in the age of the purpose bred "laying" hens. These unproductive chickens of yore are the real "HERITAGE" breed of chickens.
 

RWise

Songster
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
1,270
1,006
216
Oakhurst Oklahoma
The days have grown to short, either except it or add lights to get 14 hours a day. (I use lights) Then it is the time of year to molt, and they most often do not lay during molt.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
94,871
125,263
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I have 6 hens that are just over 2 years old & have NOT got any eggs now for a week. 2 just stopped brooding & 1 just got over molting. They are fed well getting no salt canned veggies, fruit & Purina premium layena pellets with oyster shell. They are not acting sick either. Any feedback is appreciated :) They also free range in a grassy area, spoiled they are :)
Did the broodies hatch some chicks?
I'd be feeding all your birds chick starter...and cut out the fruit and veg.
Non-laying birds don't need that level of calcium, but they do need some extra protein to grow new feathers and regain condition.
Even then, they may not lay until days get longer after Solstice.
I'm using some supplemental lighting and most my hens are not laying,
the pullets are tho.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,884
11,090
636
western South Dakota
What you need is a multi generational flock. Each year you have to cull some birds, and add some birds. You want this years chicks to start laying by September... and they will lay through the dark days of winter. Of course their eggs will be smaller but you do have fresh eggs.

My older girls will start laying about the end of January/February given some good sunshiny days. Their eggs will be bigger than the pullets, but the pullets will go to full size. Once my older girls molt, they seem to do it just as the days start getting noticeable shorter, and won't lay again till spring.

I should cull during the molt, cause they look old and tough then, but I didn't and now they have those nice new shiny feather and look just young again! haha

Mrs K
 

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