Hens not laying

Jul 23, 2021
230
364
111
Southern Idaho
Some pullets skip the molt their first fall/winter and continue laying throughout the winter. Some do not skip the molt their first season.

Reading different posts on here it's easy to come up with that misconception. Some people seem to really think that every chicken is exactly like every other chicken in the world, or that every chicken of a certain breed is just like every other chicken of that same breed. It doesn't work that way. Each chicken is an individual. They are all different. They are hatched at different times and raised in different conditions. We can tell you what might happen but we cannot tell you what will happen for sure.
Thank you. Mine lost tail feathers and wing feathers and some other smaller types. They were never bald. I still see some new feathers around. My Penciled Plymouth Rock lost her last original tail feather a few days ago. You are right pointing out they are all different. Thank you!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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Don't pullets just have a juvenile molt then a full molt the next fall after they are one year?
In general......
Chickens molt and grow a new set of feathers 2-3 times before around 6 months of age, those are called the juvenile molts.
Some pullets will have a partial molt their first fall/winter.
Most birds will have their first full adult molt their second fall/winter.

 

dlouise

In the Brooder
Oct 28, 2021
2
14
21
My 20 hens all stopped laying a month or so ago after months of laying every day. Just all of a sudden, we started only getting a few eggs & now nothing.
They all seem fine. We haven't changed food. They always have clean water.
We haven't seen any predators.
We've searched around & don't see eggs outside of the coop.
The only thing I could think of, was the neighbor put up a high wooden fence which is next to a very large tree (which was already shading the coop too much) & it seems to be casting more shadow & less sunlight to our backyard & coop. Now, the weather is getting cooler & winter is coming, so I figure we're just not going to be getting anymore eggs.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
100,763
144,190
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
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Just all of a sudden

We've searched around & don't see eggs outside of the coop.
They are good at hiding nests.
You might need to confine them to be sure.
Maybe first an exam:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/who-is-laying-and-who-is-not-butt-check.73309/

Then.....
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/run for a week or so 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 and maybe run 24/7 for a few days to a week, provided you have adequate space and ventilation, 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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