Hen stopped laying post broodiness


May 2, 2015
NSW, Australia
Hi everyone,

We got a little white hen about 8 weeks ago (unsure of how old she was, my hubby picked her up from a work colleague and was vague on the details) after settling in for a week or so we gave her some egg shells, and thus she started to lay every 2 days or So. About 3 weeks ago I noticed strange behaviour and learnt that she had become broody, we since broke the broodiness and she hasn't laid since, I understand they can be egg void for a while after being broody. About 2 weeks ago we had a massive storm (cyclonic winds up to 140km/hr) and I noticed now she hardly leaves the coop and has started shedding feathers, she doesn't look unkempt but what I'm wondering if this is normal behaviour a: after breaking her broodiness or b: could she be stressed post te storm? We covered her coop up with a tarp and wind shields, obviously leaving some ventilation for her. We feed her veggie and fruit scraps, scratch mix and she has fresh water. I am due to pick up a rhode island red this coming Friday, maybe she's lonely. Just wanting anyone's input into this....
Good morning and
. Feather plucking is common with broody hens. So, either you didn't exactly break the cycle, (hard to do as they have a mind of their own), or another possibility is that your hen is molting. Both will cause her to have a break in laying.

Is she eating & drinking good?
Do you feed her layer pellets? This feed has the vitamins chickens need. Scratch should be fed sparingly. Like a snack.
Do you think she could be laying somewhere else in the coop?
Do you have nesting boxes?
What does her poop look like? Broody hens have giant poop!
This evening when she is going to roost, check her over thoroughly for mites and lice. Does she have mites or lice?

Congrats on your new chicken by the way. Let us know if we can help with anything else.
Thanks JWB

She seems to be eating and drinking well, I have fed her laying pellets in the past but multiple people told me that she's too small to digest laying pellets and that I should stick to scratch mix. Two weeks ago I mixed scratch mix in with some pellets and she seems to have eaten this. Our
Coop is small and is only designed for two chooks (we plan on buying another larger coop in the near future) and this has no nesting boxes. I don't have a broody breaker, and am having trouble finding one. So confusing, it's hard learning new things and I just want the best for our cloudy.

Thanks heaps for your input :)
I would bet she is molting. She is not too small for pellets. They don't always eat them whole, they peck them into smaller pieces. A higher protein feed will help with a molt, scratch will not. I'm not sure what types of feed you have access to there.
I bet she's starting fall molt. It will last into the early part of winter, and you'll have feathers everywhere. The difference between molting and picking is that you'll see patches of bristly pin feathers everywhere you see naked areas. With picking, the spaces are often simply bald.

By the way, they don't lay during this molting period.
Maybe you could feed layer crumbles. We have pellets and crumbles at our local feed stores. I only feed scratch as a treat.

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