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Hen stopped laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TyedyeGranny, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. TyedyeGranny

    TyedyeGranny New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2014
    I have a New Hampshire hen that started laying and laid for a few weeks then stopped and hasn't laid for over 3 weeks now. How long can they go without laying and egg?
     
  2. hollys chooks

    hollys chooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Welcome to BYC.
    The more important question is Why has she stopped laying?
    Common reasons are -
    -age - older hens lay less often
    -moulting - chickens generally moult during autumn and while growing feathers their egg production may slow or stop.
    -illness - if the rest of her behaviour and appearance is normal she is probably well.
    -diet inadequacy - often not enough protein in the diet results in laying stopping.
    -stress - being chased/harassed by other hens, animals or children.

    Have you got other chickens laying?
     
  3. TyedyeGranny

    TyedyeGranny New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2014
    Yes, I have a Black sex link laying daily. I think she may have been startled by a neighborhood cat. She is young raised from a chick this spring and act normal except for not laying. Can't find another place she is laying. She's been confined to the run/coop 2 times since she has stopped laying a so I don't think she is laying outside the coop. Molting is the only thing I'm not sure of. haven't seen any more feathers from her than any other hen (all my hens are different colors and breeds so I can tell them apart and find what kind I like best). How long can a hen go without laying?
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
  4. hollys chooks

    hollys chooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    As you have another hen laying, diet etc is probably all good.
    Moulting is easy to tell, pick her up and look under her feathers. If you see new pin feathers emerging from the skin (and this can sometimes only be on part of her like her neck of her back) then that is where her protein is going, growing feathers, not eggs.
    As to how long they can go without laying, a hen doesn't have to lay, they don't have a backlog of eggs ready to come out. When they ovulate then the egg takes about 25 hours to move through the reproductive tract where the yolk, white and shell are grown and then they lay. If she has stopped laying then she has probably stopped ovulating.
    I have a hen who does this occasionally, she is prone to getting egg bound (not a problem for you to worry on as you haven't got any symptoms of it) and then stops laying for a few weeks. When she stops laying she also stops squatting when i go to pick her up and her comb gets less red. I can tell when she is going to lay again because she starts the squatting behaviour again.
    Sorry I can't give you a specific answer. Sometimes chooks just stop laying. If all things in her environment are right then at some point she should start laying again. I hope.
     
  5. TyedyeGranny

    TyedyeGranny New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2014
    Thanks for the help.
     

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