Help Needed! No Eggs For 2 months.

Ridge Range

Jun 10, 2022
Help needed! I have 25 hens (Barred Rocks, Buffs, Amerucanas) and 2 months ago they just quit laying. The eldest are 3 years old, but most were born last June. This time of year, I'm usually up to my neck in eggs, and since April I've had about 1 egg per week.
They free range all day and go into a secure coop at night.
I've always fed them Texas Natural Organic Layer Pellets and haven't changed their feed. I give them meal worm snacks and fruit/veggies, too.
I don't use any pesticides, herbicides or any other harmful chemicals on my property.
I've triple-checked the coop for a hidden, giant rat snake or other predator.
I've searched the property in case they were laying outside of their nests.
This started long before our heatwave, so it can't be that, either.
None are broody.
No mites.
I've had hens for 13 years and never had this happen. I'm mystified about what to do. Any ideas?
Are they dehydrated? If hens go without enough water for even a day, they won't lay for 3. Do you give them oyster shells for calcium? Or any other kind of calcium grit?
I don't think so. They have plenty of water, plus i give them watermelon and other fruit. They free range on several acres, so they should get enough grit from the soil, right? I've never had this issue in 13 years with all of the same products/property/coop/etc.
Try giving them ground oyster shells. Grit from the soil is important for digestion but calcium grit or oyster shells are important for making egg shells and feathers. They stop laying if they don't get enough of it
My guess is they have a hidden nest(s) somewhere on your property that you haven't found yet. All it takes is for a couple of birds to decide that a spot under a bush somewhere is the newest and best nesting site, and the others will follow suit.
Ditto Dat!

Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop/run for a week or so can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. Fake eggs/golf balls in the nests can help 'show' them were to lay. They can be confined to coop and maybe run 24/7 for a few days to a week, provided you have adequate space and ventilation, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.

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