Help! My Chickens have not laid eggs in several Months~

beaches4me

Songster
7 Years
Jun 2, 2012
59
66
126
Clifton Forge, VA
Hello everyone! I know that molting and often the winter time can hinder the laying of chickens but this has been going since the end of October or before that they quit laying. I have many different types of breeds, one or two roosters possibly, I think one at least, the rest, about 30 maybe, all hens, almost a year old. We got them all last spring, had been laying at the end of summer and then quit. I saw them molting and figured, OK, makes sense, plus we had a lot of roosters that some of y'all helped me figure out we had that we took out of the mix. It had gotten cold too, so I figured and the time change. But I figured they would have started laying again by now.

We put a light in they're laying nesting area and leave it on 24/7; put it in there almost a week ago but that still hasn't seemed to help. We feed them cracked corn and house scraps (egg shells, bread, veggies etc.) We were feeding them laying mash, but I had read on here or on Facebook backyard page/group that a woman said feeding them cracked or whole corn and a light had her chickens laying again in a week or less. I tried that and still nothing.

Any suggestions or help? Any and all would be greatly appreciated!!!
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Great Horny Toads
Staff member
Premium member
Jul 16, 2015
37,272
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central Wisconsin
Your hens need protein to produce eggs. I would put them on a higher protein ration like a non medicated starter grower or an All Flock ration. Something with 18-22% protein. Stop feeding all the scraps and corn as they are low in protein. Turn off the light. After your hens recover from their protein deficiency they should start laying. They also needed extra protein during the molt. Feathers and eggs are mostly made of protein. Make sure to put out a separate bowl of oyster shells for the calcium needs.
 

beaches4me

Songster
7 Years
Jun 2, 2012
59
66
126
Clifton Forge, VA
Your hens need protein to produce eggs. I would put them on a higher protein ration like a non medicated starter grower or an All Flock ration. Something with 18-22% protein. Stop feeding all the scraps and corn as they are low in protein. Turn off the light. After your hens recover from their protein deficiency they should start laying. They also needed extra protein during the molt. Feathers and eggs are mostly made of protein. Make sure to put out a separate bowl of oyster shells for the calcium needs.

Thank you oldhenlikesdogs! I very much appreciate it. Will try those suggestions first thing tomorrow! Keeping fingers crossed! lol!
 

ChocolateMouse

Crowing
6 Years
Jul 29, 2013
2,690
5,395
387
Cleveland OH
I think feeding only cracked corn and scraps is a horrible idea. It's a good way to give your birds malnutrition, but get them laying? Not so much. Maybe she meant a bit of corn in ADDITION to their normal feed? Or maybe she doesn't feed her birds and the corn was some much needed calories? Because that's all corn is, empty calories and incomplete amino acids.
Get them on a higher protein feed and make sure they have free-choice calcium if you're not feeding layer. Give them a break, they might be still in winter depression (mine are) and then try again with the light in a couple weeks, trying to make sure the light gets turned off for at least some amount of time at night.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Great Horny Toads
Staff member
Premium member
Jul 16, 2015
37,272
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central Wisconsin
You can also offer them animal based protein like cottage cheese, scrambled eggs and canned fish. Some hens just don't lay during the dead of winter no matter what you do. Most will start up by March to April. I always feed a higher protein ration to optimize production. Some extras are okay if you feed that higher protein ration. Minimum daily requirements are 16%.

Hopefully you can jump start your hens. :)
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium member
Jul 23, 2018
12,269
91,026
1,442
Apalachin, NY
My Coop
My Coop
Unfortunately the feed you are giving them is not a complete feed. I would switch them over to an All Flock type feed and offer oyster shell and grit in separate containers.
If you want to supplement light, you could put it on a timer to come on several hours before sunrise and let them go to roost at dusk. But I'd leave it off.
The lack of nutrition and lack of a normal circadian rhythm are stressing their bodies.
Can you describe their coop and run?
How many pullets? How many cockerels?
 

JedJackson

Crossing the Road
Jul 6, 2016
4,340
14,349
791
NW Washington state
Completely agree with oldhenlikesdogs on the feed. Whoever told you to feed them cracked corn didn't know about proper nutrition for chickens.

You also don't need to leave the light on 24/7. 14 hours of light is more than enough, and it is best to turn it on early rather than leave it on late.

Another thing to think about is age. Hens over 2 years old will lay less and they are more seasonal layers, Spring through Summer, usually. So it may be time to introduce some young pullets if your girls are getting older.

I hope your girls start laying again soon.
 

beaches4me

Songster
7 Years
Jun 2, 2012
59
66
126
Clifton Forge, VA
I think feeding only cracked corn and scraps is a horrible idea. It's a good way to give your birds malnutrition, but get them laying? Not so much. Maybe she meant a bit of corn in ADDITION to their normal feed? Or maybe she doesn't feed her birds and the corn was some much needed calories? Because that's all corn is, empty calories and incomplete amino acids.
Get them on a higher protein feed and make sure they have free-choice calcium if you're not feeding layer. Give them a break, they might be still in winter depression (mine are) and then try again with the light in a couple weeks, trying to make sure the light gets turned off for at least some amount of time at night.

Will do @ChocolateMouse . I Don't know why anyone would say something like that and it be not helpful but possibly harmful to our birds. I would never do anything that would hurt them knowingly and I will be correcting my mistakes right away you can bet that! I will do one or that other (layer feed or add the free choice calcium). I knew they went through molting, but what is winter depression? As far as the light goes I will start cutting it off at night or leaving it off for good if that is what is best for them. I had just seen so many people talking about getting eggs again or their hens not even hardly quit laying and was wondering what I needed to do to help them out to help them to lay again. I'm patient, was just worried something might not be right for them and now I know.
 

beaches4me

Songster
7 Years
Jun 2, 2012
59
66
126
Clifton Forge, VA
Thank you @DobieLover and @JedJackson . I have about 20-25 hens and either one or two roo's (I know one but we are still debating on if another is a roos or hen, can't tell by its rear feathers and it doesn't have tail feathers). They have a fenced in run, about 10-15 ft long and that wide also. Their coop has several layers. the lower layer fluffed up with lots of hay, the egg boxes above that; above that a flat surface for them to rest on and several boards criss crossed for them to roost on as well. That is the room/part that the light is in. There is a door on the coop with a chicken door on the bottom for them to go in and out from the coop to the run. I had just started with the light about a week or less ago and the chickens are less than a year old. We got them last spring from tractor supply. Like I mentioned in my other two replies so far, I will be getting them the correct nutritional feed that they need tomorrow and get them back on the healthy road. Maybe some worm treats would be good? Not sure but was just thinking out loud...
 

beaches4me

Songster
7 Years
Jun 2, 2012
59
66
126
Clifton Forge, VA
You can also offer them animal based protein like cottage cheese, scrambled eggs and canned fish. Some hens just don't lay during the dead of winter no matter what you do. Most will start up by March to April. I always feed a higher protein ration to optimize production. Some extras are okay if you feed that higher protein ration. Minimum daily requirements are 16%.

Hopefully you can jump start your hens. :)
@oldhenlikesdogs Okay, thanks. But no veggie scraps, left over bread or egg shells? Just checking what you all do so I can do best by my girls.
 

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