Hens haven't laid eggs in months

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by GoDawgs, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. GoDawgs

    GoDawgs Out Of The Brooder

    43
    0
    32
    Apr 23, 2011
    Atlanta burbs
    It's been four months now without a single egg from any of my four hens. What the heck?? I wasn't initially concerned because they stopped laying when they started molting. However, their feathers have been grown in for two to three months now, and still not a single egg. I was consistently getting two to three eggs every day until they started molting. I've only had them for eight months, but was told that they are in their first season of laying. I'm starting to wonder if maybe I was sold old hens, although wouldn't their egg production slow down gradually rather than being productive and then suddenly stop (and all four stop at the same time??)

    They don't act sick. They eat and drink the same feed they have always been on and have been eating and drinking just fine, they have plenty of calcium in their diet, they have enough space and should be happy. It's not possible that something is getting in and eating the eggs.

    Is it normal to go four months after a molt or during the winter? I'm in North GA to give you an idea of the weather. I'm just frustrated because the entire reason I have the hens is for the eggs, I don't have room to add any more hens, and I don't want to keep them if they don't start laying. I also don't have the money to spend on expensive vet bills to figure out what is going on.

    Any ideas as to what is going on? Or can four months without laying be normal in the winter? I also worry about what I'm going to do with them if they don't start laying. I can't bring myself to eat them, but how am I going to be able to give away hens that don't lay eggs?
     
  2. chookhead

    chookhead Chillin' With My Peeps

    326
    4
    103
    Sep 7, 2011
    sometimes after a moult they take a very long time to restart laying after a moult try feeding them some cayene pepper, garlic and a little bit of onion. mix it in with their food and this should warm them up
    and dont worry its physichally impossible for a chicken to taste pepper and the red colour attracts them
    also try worming them butt he spices should worm them but its isnt as effcient as a all round wormer
    also look for mites under their feathers to check part their breast feathers and if u see any mites ask your feed store for recomendations
    thats usually all the problems also some hens dont lay when there isnt enough light so look into that
    also how old are they???
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. chookhead

    chookhead Chillin' With My Peeps

    326
    4
    103
    Sep 7, 2011
    also they maybe hiding the eggs in a new spot if thats possible for u
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    As the days lengthen in spring, and yes, spring is right around the corner, they'll begin laying again.

    You didn't mention the breed. Some breeds just aren't designed to lay heavily. Yes, it is possible the seller wasn't totally honest about their age. I'd wait until March to be very concerned. Their laying decreases with age, so I wouldn't expect next winter to be any better.
     
  5. GoDawgs

    GoDawgs Out Of The Brooder

    43
    0
    32
    Apr 23, 2011
    Atlanta burbs
    I specifically picked breeds that are supposed to be good layers - Easter Eggers, Speckled Sussex, and a Dominique. Hopefully it's just due to the winter and they will start giving me some eggs soon.
     
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    A Dom is fair to good layer. I sure wouldn't put the Speckled Sussex in the great layer category, especially in winter.
     
  7. gordonburrito

    gordonburrito Chillin' With My Peeps

    316
    1
    119
    Apr 4, 2010
    Mid-Missouri
    Our Easter Eggers are horrible winter layers. They've only just started laying again.
     
  8. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Hopefully your laying will pick up.

    One thing to think about is -- believe it or not, there are people who don't want chickens for eggs. You might find someone who just wants 'yard ornaments', pets, fertilizer and bug control. Being honest if they are 'spent hens' may give them a good home on something like Craigs list. You just never know.

    Yes, I think that the egg laying can stop precipitously-- eggs then boom - no eggs. And we are left scratching our heads. I have one that was a super layer, and now I consider her 'retired'. We still love her though, she has become a pet.

    I guess if you determine that your flock is done laying, you can practice that 'all in, all out' approach that commercial egg layers use, and get new chickens, not have to worry about introducing new to old, and not have to worry about new ones bringing in disease etc.

    If you decide to replace your whole flock, and you want eggs, think about hybrids, they are amazing layers. Sex-links, and for a white egg think about the "Ideal 236'. It's a leghorn hybrid developed by Ideal hatchery. I have one that started her laying in October, and is pretty much a 6-eggs per week layer.

    Another thing for your chickens is water. Eggs are largely made of water, and a good supply of plenty of water is needed for good egg production. Adding 1Tbsp per gallon of apple cider vinegar helps the pH in their system absorb nutrients like calcium. Some folks swear by pepper (black, white, red) in the feed to stimulate egg production. Maybe pepper causes them to drink more water---

    Seems that the more mine eat the bigger and more frequent their eggs.
     
  9. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    I went 3 months and no eggs. Finally I had to put a light on them. Now they are laying great. I am getting 10-14 eggs a day. Of course I have 40 some chickens but I am not complaining as long as I have enough to eat.
     
  10. jflanny

    jflanny Chillin' With My Peeps

    113
    4
    78
    Feb 22, 2013
    Newnan Ga
    I am having this problem as well. I have about 15 hens in a wide variety of breeds (Americauna, Americauna Banty, Polish (bad layers), Silver and Golden Laced Wyandottes, Light Brama, RIR). My hens are young (under 3 years) and the only ones that are laying are my Mille Fleurs dÚccles and Silkies. These smaller chickens are kept in a separate coop and run from the others.

    I feel like my flock probably stopped laying after their molt and it has now been at least 3 months! They have been wormed, get good quality feed, treats, organic scraps, plenty of water, etc. I have been putting some red pepper in their feed but they don't seem too gobble it up. I even tried to put it in some cornmeal and they really didn't care for that. I don't have electricity near my coop but I am wondering if I need to rig up some kind of lighting? If so, how long should the light be on?

    I have some wooden eggs in the nesting boxes to try to encourage laying but no go. We have had some off time before but never anything like this where NONE of my big girls are laying. It is very frustrating to go out day after day and nothing. Lucky for them they are pets for life!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by