Hens Stopped Laying Eggs

Awestruck

Songster
8 Years
May 15, 2012
136
44
161
I have 7 hens and 1 rooster, about 20 months old now. They started producing eggs last year and were fine egg layers. Then the heat came over the summer, along with rain, and the egg production went down. But it is cooler now, and the hens have almost stopped producing eggs. I have 1 Americauna who lays an egg almost every day, and most of the time, the egg is not in the nest box, and it doesn't have a shell on it. I haven't seen an egg in over a week from the other Americauna. One of the Barred Rocks still lays an egg, maybe every other day. I can't tell if they are molting, but I do see a lot of feathers in the coop. I would blame the lack of eggs on molting, but, they don't appear to be in full-fledged molting mode yet. My Black Sex Link still is fully feathered. Could the chickens have lost their ability to reproduce during the summer, because of the heat? I hope they start up back again soon. I read where the second year is the most productive egg year, but I don't see much hope yet. Anyone else have this experience?
 

JurassicBawk

Songster
Jun 23, 2016
289
546
161
Hixson, TN
My chickens laid through the winter their first year, but they'd just got to point of lay in the fall and didn't molt. Their second winter they stopped laying around Thanksgiving and started back up mid March. This year they are molting now but stopped laying over a month ago in early Oct when the days started to get shorter. My 1 year old quail all stopped before that. Most birds need 14 hours of light to produce eggs. If you see lots of feathers and are in an area where the daylight is less than 14 hours, it's probably them molting.

I don't know about the second year being the most productive. If you mean when they are 2+ years old, then most egg farms get rid of their birds at 18 months and consider then "spent" at that point. My Easter Eggers are 2.5 years old and laid just fine in the spring/summer, but quit earlier this fall and probably won't start back up until at least March.
 

staceyj

Enabler
Jan 1, 2017
7,998
45,721
1,152
Coastal NC
My Coop
My Coop
Several things at play here. All normal.

The days are much shorter in most parts of the northern hemisphere.
Chickens run on solar power.
After the winter solstice you might see production resume, but it also might not be until spring.
It just depends on the chicken.

The first major molt comes(usually) the autumn after their first full year -so about 18 months+

That could account for the increase in feathers you’re seeing in the coop.
Not all chickens walk around looking bald. If you pick them up gently and use your fingers to peek under their feathers you may see lots of pin feathers coming in. Especially on their tummies!

Producing feathers takes a ton of protein. So does producing eggs.
They usually can’t do both at the same time.
 

Awestruck

Songster
8 Years
May 15, 2012
136
44
161
Thanks for all the helpful information. I will wait and hope they start laying again. In the mean time, I might have to buy some eggs from the store. :idunno
 

GC-Raptor

Free Ranging
Jul 26, 2016
5,141
9,715
621
Connecticut, USA
Thanks for all the helpful information. I will wait and hope they start laying again. In the mean time, I might have to buy some eggs from the store. :idunno
Try a higher Protein feed like a Non-Medicated Starter-Grower/Start & Grow 18%, or a All Flock/Flock Raiser 20%. To help them grow out their feathers.
My 2 1/2 year old Golden Comets slowed down laying to about 1/2 when they molted last month, but never stopped when fed a Start & Grow feed with Oyster Shells separately.
I am currently feeding a All-Flock feed to the Adults and 13 week old Barred Rocks.
I add light at 5am year round. If you don't add light, they may not lay again till late winter.
Here is Ann molting, 20181001_125456.jpg .
Here she is after, 20181022_090841.jpg . She still needs to grow out her tail feathers. GC
 

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