Hens Not Laying - Please Help

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by agesin, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. agesin

    agesin New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Nov 11, 2008
    I have four hens and a pullet that arent laying. The hens (auracana, golden comet and partridge rock) are 3 years old and were very good layers. But then they all just stopped laying within a few months of each other, and that was about 6-8 months ago. They all appear healthy, unstressed, there has been no change in feed, and they completed their molt at least a month ago. The pullet was laying 5/week, but just stopped (though her sister is still laying).

    Any thoughts?

    Thank you.
     
  2. okiehen

    okiehen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 25, 2007
    Oklahoma
    What are you feeding them? You may need to get them some black oil sunflower seeds and a few cans of cat food. And if your feeding laying feed what % is it you may need to up the %. If your not feeding laying feed you need to be. I know thats the easy things to look at. And water and weather is the other. The days are getting shorter. My hens have not started back good yet . I got 8 eggs yesterday. 16 the day before.
    Hope this helps and best of luck.
     
  3. agesin

    agesin New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Nov 11, 2008
    I feed them layer pellets. I dont know the content (%) off top of my head, but will check and post. Thanks for the quick response!

    Weather has been fine over the past 6-8 months, and they get all the water they could ever want.
     
  4. Colored Egg Farmer

    Colored Egg Farmer Chicken overload

    It could possably be a molt but since you said It been months thats not a main possability. Since they are 3 years old they are probably not going to produce much. As a chicken ages it will lay less eggs per year. The first laying year is one of the best and decreases from that. I would check you feed and make sure it is atleast 16% protein.
     
  5. agesin

    agesin New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Nov 11, 2008
    I checked the protein level in the feed and it is 16%. Should I try a protein supplement of some sort to see if that makes a difference?

    At age 3, I would expect chickens to have diminished egg production, but not to stop laying completely. Any other thoughts? How long does it typically take chickens to start laying again after a molt?
     
  6. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    24,442
    49
    371
    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Even the best production hens lay only 240 - 280 eggs a year. That leaves well over 3 months of zero egg laying days. For run of the mill hens you won't get near as many eggs and could hVE 4 or more months of no production decreasing with their age.

    There are some things to consider. Your hens may be taking their annual break. Molting, short days, cold weather, etc and their bodies have stoipped laying to direct energy to other needs.

    Another thing could be egg eating. I do know some hens will stand and wait for another hen to lay andgobble her egg down quicker than you can imagine.

    Also snakes and micelove a warm meal and will eat eggs as long as they can find them.

    If you hens free range outside of a pen at all they could be hiding them from you.

    So many things can cause a hen to stop laying.

    The best advise, while it can be confusing, is to wait it out and pay close attention to what is going on at all times of the day. Many trips to the hen house through the day, following the hens etc.
     
  7. agesin

    agesin New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Nov 11, 2008
    Thanks for the additional information, but my chickens are rarely out of the run and there has been no evidence of egg predation.

    A 6-8 month egg laying hiatus seems like an abnormally long time for 3 year old birds - granted, a molt occurred during that time.
     
  8. SunAngel

    SunAngel Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2008
    Chambersburg, Pa.
    I was going to post almost the same topic, so I totally understand what you are going through!

    I was getting about 8-10 eggs a day and now maybe 1 or 2 only from my Bantams each day. The big girls have completely quit! 1 egg was laid on the floor when I went to lock them up the other night, one of them must have stepped on it and 3 of them were going after it, for a late night snack! I snatched it up really quick and haven't gotten another egg since. That was the only egg in a week and a half.

    Only 1 chicken in the coop seems to be molting, she has feathers falling off everywhere, looks like she has exploded. But I can't figure out why the rest won't lay at least a random egg. Mine get the 16% layer crumbles mixed with Grower crumbles (due to some younger ones in the coop and the roo), plus scratch in the mornings and treats of some sort each afternoon. They also have oyster shell available at all times too.

    I did move all their nesting boxes, but really, how long can they hold out just because their mad I moved them? I don't think they are eating the eggs. None of the chickens are ever in the coop when I wander in. Its driving me bonkers. I figured they would slow down in the winter, maybe only lay a couple a week. But I am getting nothing from all 9 hens that should be laying.

    I guess there is nothing that can be given to encourage them to lay again/more/ever(I have some that seem to be refusing to start..26 weeks and counting)?
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2008
  9. ebonykawai

    ebonykawai Chillin' With My Peeps

    All I can do is wait on this end, too. 8 of my hens are 31 and 33 weeks this Friday. I only have 2 laying, and they have slowed down this past week. I'm only getting one egg a day from all these hens. I had no idea "slow to mature" could possibly mean this long. Bah. [​IMG]
     
  10. SunAngel

    SunAngel Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2008
    Chambersburg, Pa.
    I know what you mean. I have about 35-40, that are either hovering around laying age or should be laying, and now nothing.

    Now I understand why farmers have 150+ hens, just so they can get enough eggs each week to feed the family!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by