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Help! My hens have gone on strike!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dmdhart, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. dmdhart

    dmdhart Songster

    Jun 12, 2009
    Millwood, VA
    I do not have any idea why, but my hens have decided to go on strike. I was gathering between 2 1/2 - 3 doz eggs a day. Over the past week or so it has dropped down to less than a dozen a day. What on earth could be causing this? I'm feeding laying crumbles, plus the usual treats of mixed bird seed, left overs.................My egg customers are not very happy. Have any ideas?
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010

  2. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress

    Are they moulting? Maybe its just to hot? Could be a lot of reasons. My girls went on strike for something like 3 months!! [​IMG] But now are back to laying better. Just keep an eye on them. They should be back to laying for you well again soon. [​IMG]
  3. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

    Mar 16, 2009
    onchiota NY
    Well I found 3 hidden nests outside this weekend-could this be possible? I found 20-sih eggs I had to throw away been in the 90's:-( Everytime I looked on a hidden hill top ..there in a hidden cave of ferns were eggs! brats!
  4. dmdhart

    dmdhart Songster

    Jun 12, 2009
    Millwood, VA
    It's crazy, during our heat wave, (we had temps in the low 100's) they were laying fine. It's started to cool down some and now they've stopped. I will do a good search of the yard though.
  5. abercrombie575

    abercrombie575 Songster

    Feb 9, 2010
    Do you have a snake getting in and eating them? I think you would see if there were anything bigger getting in but a snake could sneak right in without being noticed. Do you see any shell left over or anything that could mean something was eating them in the nest or coop? If not that maybe it is just the change of weather coming on. It is starting to get really cool here in the evening/mornings. I hope they pick up again for you soon!
  6. dmdhart

    dmdhart Songster

    Jun 12, 2009
    Millwood, VA
    No signs of snakes and no signs that anything is getting them either. (thank goodness)
  7. MustLoveHens

    MustLoveHens Songster

    Sep 1, 2010
    Albion, Wisconsin
    My guess is you have a couple of things going on that are contributing to the lack of eggs. One would be the hot weather and another is the moulting season. Weather can also play a roll as far as the temp change from hot to cold. This might be enough to throw a hen off laying. Hot to cold can confuse them because their body is trying to figure out which way to go-get ready for fall/winter or extend summer. Chickens cycles run by light and to a certain extent temperature. That is why in the late summer early fall you see a drop in egg laying. They dont quite know which way to go until it gets dark ealier and stays cooler.
    Hens will enter moult at different time of the moutling season. Some will enter more in the middle of summer and some almost in fall. Usually Novemever is the end of moutling season. Sooner the farther north you go. More then likely you are dealing with a moulting issue that will sort it's self out.
    Some breeds don't lay all year because they are seasonal layers. They usually will stop for the moult (3 months) and lay a little in the winter and then go at full capacity in the spring until the next moult. My Old English Gamefowl were very seasonal layers as well as my Russian Orloffs.
    Another possiblity is that something is terrorizing them. Coyotes, owls, coons. possums, a feral dog or two. I don't know what your set up is like so this might not be a factor for you.
    Im not sure this will help you but I think that you will just have to wait it out.

  8. theFox

    theFox Songster

    Sep 21, 2009
    Standish, Maine
    You need to have a word with your birds.

    Just put a chair in the run and when they all gather round tell them about the pay for performance clause in their contract.
  9. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Songster

    Dec 28, 2009
    Mine did the same thing. They also did about a month ago when it was in the high 90's, they stopped for about a week. Then last week, they stopped "cold turkey", no eggs at all..then after about 5 days they started back up. It's the funniest thing. And until then I was getting 15-20 eggs a day also. Hopefully they will start back up soon. Good Luck.
  10. chartssss34

    chartssss34 In the Brooder

    Sep 6, 2010
    when hens stop laying we give them water soaked bread with hot chili powder ..they resume in no time

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