Hens stopped laying for 3 weeks

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Lucy chick, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. Lucy chick

    Lucy chick In the Brooder

    Jun 18, 2014
    My 9 black australorp hens are 3 years old. I have noticed a lot of feathers and I know that means they are molting, but how long does this last. I have not had an egg for 3 weeks. The weather has drastically changed in the last week to below freezing at night. I have put a light on for extra daylight and a heat lamp when it gets below 35 degrees. Please advise if this is normal and how long should I wait before I put them in the stew pot.
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    It can take weeks for the supplemental lighting to have an effect.

    Older layers need 14-16 hours of light to lay regularly thru winter. Last winter I used a 40 watt incandescent light(this year I am using a CFL) that comes on early in the morning to provide 14-15 hours of light and they go to roost with the natural sundown. Last year I started the lighting increase a bit late(mid October), the light should be increased slowly, and the pullets didn't start laying until late December. Here's pretty good article on supplemental lighting. Some folks think that using lighting shortens the years a hen will lay, I don't agree with that theory but I also plan to cull my older hens for soup at about 3 years old.

    You can wait.....or have soup!
  3. cityfarmer12

    cityfarmer12 Songster

    Oct 18, 2014
    Most chickens don't lay as well (if any) in the winter without help. If they are done molting, that could be the reason.

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