Hen stopped laying eggs for 5 months!

Enyay33

Hatching
Jul 20, 2021
3
5
9
Hello!

I have searched this website endlessly with no definite answers to my problem. Hopefully you guys can help me.

I have an almost 3 year old hen that stopped laying eggs for the past 5 months. I wanted to specifically collect her eggs so I could incubate them, so I moved her, the rooster, and another hen into a smaller room in the bottom floor of my coop. I was hoping that wouldn't be too much of a change. She laid one egg the day I moved her, and one egg the next week. But after that she completely stopped. I blamed it on the move stressing her out and thought I would give it more time. About a month after moving her she started "molting" so she lost some feathers and has had little pin feathers growing ever since.

She seems happy and acting normal. I let them go outside during the morning so she can free range and get exercise. No health issues that I can see, and she eats well (21% egg layer protein). There are also windows in that room so there is plenty of light.

Can chickens molt all year and not lay eggs or is she just getting old?

Thank you for your help in advance!
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Nov 23, 2010
34,036
29,962
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St. Louis, MO
3 years isn't old by most chicken standards - depending on breed/hybrid.
Chickens can molt any time of year or growth period.
They will almost always cease laying during molt.
Molt can happen from decreased day length (most common) or a stressor of some type.
If she isn't a particularly productive bird (so few eggs during a normally productive time of year) why are you needing to hatch her eggs?
 

Enyay33

Hatching
Jul 20, 2021
3
5
9
20210429_113534.jpg
 

Enyay33

Hatching
Jul 20, 2021
3
5
9
3 years isn't old by most chicken standards - depending on breed/hybrid.
Chickens can molt any time of year or growth period.
They will almost always cease laying during molt.
Molt can happen from decreased day length (most common) or a stressor of some type.
If she isn't a particularly productive bird (so few eggs during a normally productive time of year) why are you needing to hatch her eggs?
Thank you for your knowledge!

They are marraduna basque chickens, and I only have the couple so I was hoping to keep the breed in my flock before they get too old.
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Nov 23, 2010
34,036
29,962
1,117
St. Louis, MO
What does molting mean?
It is akin to seasonal fur shedding for mammals. For birds, they must replace their torn and tattered feathers every year. That normally happens as day length decreases, which signifies colder weather is coming. Their new coat is much more insulative.
Birds can molt any time of year though, usually due to some stressor. Chicks always go through several molts as they grow, replacing down with stronger feathers and they do a couple adolescent molts.
 
Jul 1, 2021
54
43
63
how long total would the molting/ceasing to lay be? because i've had a 1.5 year cream legbar for 5 months that hasn't laid and the woman I got her from said she was laying.
 

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