Hen Stopped Laying - Will she start again?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by JoshFig, Oct 24, 2016.

  1. JoshFig

    JoshFig Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Background:
    I have an easter egger hen from March of this year. She started laying in July and was one of my most consistent layers. She stopped laying about 5 weeks ago and hasn't laid an egg since. She is a 2016 hen and is not molting at all. Additionally, all my other hens (both from last year and this past March) are continuing to lay with no issues).

    Two things happened at that time(when she stopped laying):
    1) We got a new rooster - she is at the bottom of the pecking order and got lots of attention from the rooster. We turned that rooster into soup 2 weeks ago.
    2) We hatched a batch of chicks and put them in our outside brooding pen - the hens free range so she can see the chicks. Some of the chicks came from her eggs. Those chicks are still out there. She hangs out around the chicks a lot.

    Question: Any ideas on what caused her to stop laying? I first suspected trauma from the rooster, but he has been gone for 2 weeks and still no eggs. I then had a random thought that maybe she thinks she is mama and turned on the broody instinct. I've put her with the chicks and she just eats their food - so not confident in that theory either. It's still in the high 70's here - so i'm pretty confident she hasn't shut down for the winter.

    Any ideas?
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
  2. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hey JoshFig

    That is a tricky one!

    Both of your suggestions are valid ones.

    I have read that obesity can cause them not to lay.

    I can only add something I experienced recently in that I had a 2 year old Frizzle Pekin [Bantam Cochin] stop laying on the 13th of December 2015 when she started a moult.

    Fast forward 10 months later and she had not laid an egg in that time. Her flock mates were laying during that time. I just figured that her egg laying days were done with.

    However, three weeks ago on the recommendation of a friend I started them on a liquid animal supplement once a week. It contains not only essential minerals but also amino acids and Vitamins A, D and Vitamin E. They were not sick and it was purely as a pick me up/boost to ensure they are getting everything they need.

    Lo and behold, after three doses, she laid an egg this week! Could just be coincidence but I think not.
     
  3. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well there are a lot of things that can cause your chicken to stop laying but the one that sticks out is adding the new rooster to the flock.chickens take the pecking order very seriously and when they have to change it is very stressful for them maybe she was a little more stressed being at the bottom and getting attention from the rooster
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Short answer....EE's can be notoriously inconsistent layers.
    I have a couple that seem to turn on and off at a whim..not at that young but<shrugs>.
    Stress from the male and/or chicks could have 'turned her off'.

    What and how exactly are you feeding?
    If their regular ration is layer feed, she may be wanting/needing the higher protein chick feed.


    Have you checked her vent and pelvic points?
    Vent:
    Dry, tight, and smaller - usually not laying.
    Moist, wide, and larger - usually laying

    Pelvic Points 2 bony points(pelvic bones) on either side of vent:
    Less than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means not laying.
    More than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means laying.



    You free range....might need to confine them for a time to re-associate laying with the coop nests:
    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 3-4 days (or longer) 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 24/7 for a few days to a week, 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.
     

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