Egg Production has stopped for months!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ricachica, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. ricachica

    ricachica Hatching

    Oct 26, 2010
    I realize that hens will stop laying during molting, and they did molt for about a month (Aug-Sept). But it's the end of Oct and this is getting ridiculous. I had 4 hens (golden stars) who all stopped laying in the end of summer (mid Aug). They were free ranging, but I had to put them in a coop--each hens has her own nesting box, with room to walk around on the floor and plenty of perches all around. The coop is about 9 ft. long, 4 ft. wide and 9 ft. tall. (it's a converted pigeon loft). They layed in their new house, but stopped a few weeks later. So last month, (first of Sept). I added two more hens (all the hens are about 2 years old), who layed for a few weeks, and then they have stopped too. Is this a conspiracy? Are they all revolting because they are permanently inside the coop and not allowed to free range anymore? How long does molting usually last and eggs come back?
  2. Ohhhdear

    Ohhhdear Songster

    Aug 15, 2010
    West Michigan
    How much daylight are your chickens getting? If they're cooped up all day and night and not getting enough daylight hours (they need about 14 hours to lay reliably) you may need to hang an LED light strip on a timer. (LED's are not heat producing light sources, so you don't risk the bulb breaking or burning down the coop. They also produce a lot of light for very little wattage).

    Some people also increase the amount of protein they feed chickens during and after a moulting period. It helps them develop new feathers faster. Normal laying mix has 16% protein, but you can get 20% protein feed or supplement with a lot of meat scraps. Not sure how long a moult lasts because mine haven't yet; they're 7 months old production chickens. I'm expecting a major moult-down sometime next spring.

    Cayenne pepper is used a lot to jump start laying in hens that have stopped for whatever reason. It helps stimulate their systems and there's great health benefits from the capsaisin in the pepper. Do a search here in BYCF for "Cayenne Pepper" for a lot more information. I use it regularly with my girls and they eat it readily just mixed in with their laying crumbles.

    Good luck, and welcome to BYCF!![​IMG]
  3. pierce652

    pierce652 In the Brooder

    May 16, 2008
    I am going through the same thing with my 6 chickens. They havent layed eggs for the past two months. Perhaps two eggs have been layed and both were broken when I went to the boxes. I thought it was caused by a new food brand but just yesterday my wife went up to let them out of the coop and saw something scurry in the corner of the run. She thinks it was a field mouse but I dont know if that would cause the girls to stop laying.
  4. ricachica

    ricachica Hatching

    Oct 26, 2010
    Thank you for the help... I just added cheyenne pepper to the feed, I will use exclusively the layer pellets and not the scratch for a while and hooked up a light. If I have it on day and night to compensate for the lack of natural daylight hours, will that confuse the chickens? Do they need predictable day and night hours to regulate their systems?
  5. Schroeder

    Schroeder Songster

    Nov 9, 2008
    Central Indiana
    My Coop
    Same boat with my 6 hens. It pained me to buy store bought eggs, but I did buy brown organic ones @ $3.25 dozen. I've located someone nearby advertising eggs from whom I will buy the next time....if my freeloaders don't start paying their rent again soon.

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