Hens stopped laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Buckhunter, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. Buckhunter

    Buckhunter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    we added a few(6) young pullets to our flock of 22 hens a couple weeks ago . It seems like the hens stopped layng . Is this normal ? The hens are getting older (3 years ) . But we are only getting 0-2 eggs a day when we were getting 7-10. How long will this last ?
     
  2. allieloveschickens

    allieloveschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    often hens will stop laying/lay less as the days get shorter, also at 3 years their production will be slowing down naturally. You could try putting a light in their coop- with increased "daylight" they might pick up a little bit. Good luck!
     
  3. PoultryQueen29

    PoultryQueen29 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    often hens will stop laying/lay less as the days get shorter, also at 3 years their production will be slowing down naturally. You could try putting a light in their coop- with increased "daylight" they might pick up a little bit. Good luck!

    x2. If you want year round laying, try getting EE pullets. They lay constantly but i'm guessing they slow down as they age, too.​
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Any change, like adding new flocks members, throws them a curve.

    At 3 years of age, they often come to a dead stop in fall. The days have grown shorter since late June and by September, there is no longer long enough daylight hours to keep them in lay, so the hens rest. They often need to moult, and take a break. They may not start up again naturally until spring. Remember too that depending on breed, each year sees an ever decreasing number of eggs laid, and some hybrids often slow down drastically.
     
  5. papinator

    papinator Out Of The Brooder

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    I bet your hens stopped laying because of the newcomers... a little environmental stress can make their egg laying delay for a little bit. I would give them 1-2 weeks to get back on schedule [​IMG]
     
  6. mommissan

    mommissan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:x2. If you want year round laying, try getting EE pullets. They lay constantly but i'm guessing they slow down as they age, too.

    Okay... I didn't know that. EE's lay year round regardless of the short days? That's why she didn't miss a beat when my timer on my light was screwed up. The other girls went on strike but she just kept on laying.
     
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Well...... the truth is that most breeds will lay well in the winter of the pullet year. Almost all common breeds, hatched in March or April will lay through the next winter. It is the out years that things happen. Moulting, slowing down due to age, etc. The EE is no exception.


    Remember also that most breeds are capable of 220-260 eggs per year in breeding. That means that such hens will take a combined 100 days or over 3 months of non-laying days off during the year. The very few breeds who are capable of 300+ eggs per year (ISA Browns, Leghorns) still "skip" a total of a month or more of non laying days.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
  8. mommissan

    mommissan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay. So much still to learn. Is that why I always see people giving their laying hens away when they are 18 months? I see loads of them on craigslist.
     
  9. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Quote:Yes, folks do this. But... if the breed is a good breed, it doesn't make sense. Take a Barred Rock or RIR. They cost $3 even for a hatchery chick, electricity, bedding and feed to brood out. Finally, after almost 6 months of additional feeding, work, bedding, etc, they finally lay. Cost? $20 a pullet. It takes them over a month to lay larger than midget eggs. So, at the end of the pullet year, at 18 months of age, yes, they'll take a break. They'll moult and not lay for 5 or 6 weeks. It costs about $5-$7 to feed her through that period. But here's the thing.

    For that $5 dollar of feed and a little patience, you launch her on to her second year. She'll lay a few less eggs, but those eggs she lays will be large and of great quality. She'll give you a second productive year, if her breeding is any good at all. Far cheaper to keep her and get that production, imho.

    OK, at the end of that year, when she's 30 months old? Yes, she can go again, but the numbers economically start to change and they're aren't good. We're obviously not talking pet chickens here, so, a decision needs to be made at that point. It is at this point, if she isn't breeding potential, then many keepers turn them loose.

    I think those people selling 18 months old hens haven't always crunched the numbers. It's OK, their way, but there is another option.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
  10. Buckhunter

    Buckhunter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    well I do have a light on a timer in the house . It comes on at 4 AM so they are getting about 14 hours of light . I have been hinting to my wife that maybe she needs to think about getting rid of the older hens and replacing them ,but she is somewhat attached . I told her the other day that they still eat the same amount of feed , but no eggs ..... 8^)
     

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