Help! No eggs since June!

mukluk3

Hatching
Oct 3, 2019
5
4
6
Park Rapids, MN
My hens haven't layed an egg all Summer! Most of them hatched in April 2018. I read their first molt is often at 14-18 months. They were almost 14 months old when they stopped laying. So, I waited the 60-90 days that is typical time to molt. It's coming up on 120 days and still no eggs. I gave them meatbird feed most of the Summer to help them through their molt, along with greek yogurt or mealworms a few times a week. I know as daylight decreases they won't lay as well. But, they're not laying at all! They do free range most days in the afternoon/evening but, I've watched them and searched for hidden eggs. I haven't heard the laying sounds they usually make. I have 2 roosters for 12 hens. Should I remove the roosters from the coop for a while? My hens appear healthy, no mites or worms. I am tired of feeding them and not getting any eggs!
 

ValerieJ

Straw parade on snow day
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 24, 2016
10,552
63,393
1,287
Washington State
Hi! :frow Welcome to BYC! Seems to me that they are being quite tricky and hiding eggs somewhere. 3 months would be a long molt. Most of my hens stopped laying about a month ago. Two of them didn't go through the molt, so I get 1 or 2 eggs a day. I feel your pain!!!
 

Compost King

Free Ranging
Apr 19, 2018
3,304
11,503
707
Salisbury, North Carolina
Sometimes its a good idea to have a flock of different breeds and different ages (which can be tricky in itself with birds not getting along). With a diverse flock you can often have molts happening at different times. It all depends on which problem you would rather have.. A flock where birds may bullying issues or a time period of no eggs.

Sometimes higher protein feed can make a molt go by slightly faster.
 

mukluk3

Hatching
Oct 3, 2019
5
4
6
Park Rapids, MN
Sometimes its a good idea to have a flock of different breeds and different ages (which can be tricky in itself with birds not getting along). With a diverse flock you can often have molts happening at different times. It all depends on which problem you would rather have.. A flock where birds may bullying issues or a time period of no eggs.

Sometimes higher protein feed can make a molt go by slightly faster.
 

mukluk3

Hatching
Oct 3, 2019
5
4
6
Park Rapids, MN
Thank you, compost king. I have 4 older hens between 3-5 years old. We finally got a larger coop built last Summer, so I was able to get more chickens. After this "egg drought" I will definitely try to have hens of varying ages all the time. I am trying to keep their protein levels high to get them through their molt faster.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,130
138,422
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
My hens haven't layed an egg all Summer! Most of them hatched in April 2018. I read their first molt is often at 14-18 months. They were almost 14 months old when they stopped laying. So, I waited the 60-90 days that is typical time to molt. It's coming up on 120 days and still no eggs. I gave them meatbird feed most of the Summer to help them through their molt, along with greek yogurt or mealworms a few times a week. I know as daylight decreases they won't lay as well. But, they're not laying at all! They do free range most days in the afternoon/evening but, I've watched them and searched for hidden eggs. I haven't heard the laying sounds they usually make. I have 2 roosters for 12 hens. Should I remove the roosters from the coop for a while? My hens appear healthy, no mites or worms. I am tired of feeding them and not getting any eggs!
So they hatched in April 2018 and stopped laying in June 2019?
Did you see signs of molt, old feathers dropping and new pin feathers growing in??
Meat bird feed(what percentage protein?) and yogurt and meal worms is a lot of protein.

Time for an exam:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/who-is-laying-and-who-is-not-butt-check.73309/

Then I'd lock them up:
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 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. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.

Oh, and....Welcome to BYC! @mukluk3
Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
upload_2019-10-4_10-55-39.png
 

mukluk3

Hatching
Oct 3, 2019
5
4
6
Park Rapids, MN
Thank you for your reply aart! I am seeing a lot more feather loss in the past few weeks than I did most of the Summer. I think the meatbird feed was 20% protein. I did butt checks on a few of my hens today. Their vents are dry and tight. They were locked up in their coop and run for 5 days last week while I was out of town. My pet sitter knows my I haven't been getting eggs. So, I'm sure she would have told me if she found any eggs. When they do free range, I don't let them out until late afternoon or evening. I do live in Northern Minnesota so, I know the shorter days are becoming an issue too. I am leaving their light on a little longer into the evening to see if that stimulates them to start laying again. I was thinking about moving the Beta rooster to my old coop. Maybe the Alpha rooster occasionally chasing the Beta rooster is stressing out the hens. Although, the hens layed great until this Spring and the roosters have always scuffled with each other.
 

Dakema71

Hatching
Oct 5, 2019
1
0
3
Maine
I'm having the same problem with my hens. Someone suggested removing the rooster and the maturing roos in the coop next to them but still no eggs. I have hens of all ages, all under 3 year and only getting 0-3 eggs per day with 20 mature hens.
 

MANNA-PRO

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom