Help! Chickens stopped laying!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Caitlin M, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. Caitlin M

    Caitlin M New Egg

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    Sep 18, 2011
    Hi, so this story start about a month ago, I had come home from out of town for about two weeks, and all of my girls seemed a little off. I noticed that one of them was very skinny and she hadn't laid an egg since a few days after I left. She started breathing very heavy (almost gape worm like) and I had to feed her by hand for about six days and one morning I came out and she had died. [​IMG] When i went out of town the people who were supposed to be taking care of my chickens were not cleaning it exactly how it is supposed to be (which i am not mad about because it is hard to expect someone to clean like you would when they don't own chickens themselves) and basically all of the poop in the coop was just being re-covered with pine shavings and not being removed. This was during the hot hot hot summer (and humid) of south florida so this is really the time of year things should be extra clean. A few days after I came home I actually saw round worms in the the two Polish's droppings (which was odd because those two were actually the only ones who were acting perky and normal). So now that I knew we had a worm infestation, I wormed everyone, waited for 14 days and wormed everyone again. (During the first 14 day worming was when the other chicken died, I attributed her respiratory symptoms to having some worm or worm larvae in her respiratory tract, which i read could happen). I was hoping that this worming would take away all of the problems, and all of the girls did seem to be doing better then all of a sudden my bantam aracauna stopped laying. This didn't really alarm me because she usually lays for about 14 days then goes broody & repeat.... but this time she stopped laying and didn't go broody but she is acting normal, so i just didn't worry about this too much because she isn't the most prolific layer. So now it has been about a week since the last worming cycle and I was so excited to start getting eggs again (since you have to toss all of the eggs during those 28 days of worming which is SO hard!) and now, both of my Polish, who usually lay 6 eggs per week or so, have completely stopped laying. I know that there isn't a predator because I have on silkie that is broody right now, so the one other egg I am getting everyday ends up under her. Anyone who has Polish know that it isn't exactly easy to tell what they are feeling because they are suchs goofs anyways. But they are running to the front when I give treats and overall they seem normal, just not laying eggs. Have not seen any feathers so not sure if it could be molt, but don't know because I have never been through a molt. Anyways so for the record i have six laying hens and getting ONE egg a day (one broody, three stopped laying, one internal layer who hasnt laid in about a year but still acts super happy and healthy just has a super swollen but, and one girl who is still laying). HELP!
     
  2. GardenGal

    GardenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you have an idea what may be causing their problem? Sorry you lost your hen. I don't know a lot about chicken diseases. There are some excellent home remedies on BYC. Good luck!
     
  3. wood&feathers

    wood&feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you seeing other symptoms aside from lack of eggs? It is getting toward fall, and all my girls are taking turns molting. At the peak of molt, they stop laying.

    Definitely keep a close eye for anything that might be illness. Even if they are healthy now, they are extra stressed during molt.
     
  4. Caitlin M

    Caitlin M New Egg

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    Sep 18, 2011
    how do i know if they are molting? i don't see feathers coming off of them anywhere, but maybe they stop laying before they start losing feathers? not sure. I am wondering if the worm infestation had anything to do with it? you would think that now it has been over a month since the first worming i gave them wouldn't be the time to stop laying, I would think that they would stop laying DURING the worm infestation, which they did not, but the production did decrease. After I wormed them production seemed to get back to normal until a few days ago where it has just completely stopped. One more thing, i have also noticed at night that one of the girls coughs and sneezes (sometimes during the day but mostly at night, and this is the chicken that is an internal layer anyways) I thought that this respiratory stuff was also a result of the worms but now i just don't know what's going on. Also, I'm not sure if anyone is familiar with internal laying, but I was wondering how long my sweet chicken will still be healthy? it has been at least six months since she laid her last egg, maybe longer. Her abdomen is swollen and hard but she shows no signs of being in discomfort and is actually at the top of the pecking order. She is a bantam silkie so really didn't lay a ton to begin with, which i think is in her favor since the egg material isn't building up as fast as it would if she were supposed to be laying every day. I keep wondering when she is finally going to get sick, and i'm not looking forward to that but I can't find any info on the internet about how long a chicken can be an internal layer without any consequences? sorry, that chicken is completely unrelated to the thread about my Polish that have quit laying, but thought maybe someone who reads these posts might know a thing or two about that also. i just have a bunch of chicken problems now!!!
     
  5. Caitlin M

    Caitlin M New Egg

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    it is so funny how things like this work.... i went outside today and went to pick up one of the polish, just to check again make sure her abdomen felt normal and everything and what do you know, tons of feathers came out! (and she was acting very bratty which is not normally her) then i go to look at the little aracauna that also stopped laying and realized that sometime between this morning and afternoon she lost her biggest tail feather, so not looks a little stumpy! I also have a baby chick who is half polish half silkie and the other night i put her up on the perch with the big girls because her mom is broody so the chick has been sleeping in the nesting box with her, but i know the little chick loves to perch so i put her up there and this morning i came out and saw feathers everywhere and since she has the same coloring as the polish girls i figured that the chick had just been picked on because i put her up there with them and i felt so bad!! looking back though it seems to be that they are molting!! There still is one thing concerning me though.... i read that the molt is supposed to happen from the neck area first, and all of the girls still have their head and neck feathers. just want to make sure the feather loss couldn't be from anything else, but it is definitely looking like they are just molting!
     

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