How long to wait between layings before becoming concerned?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Cincyhens, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. Cincyhens

    Cincyhens New Egg

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    Sep 25, 2011
    We have two hens about one and a half years old. One lays regularly-pretty much every day. The other has not laid in two weeks. She is not molting nor is she broody. She is eating a little but not a lot. We lost our third hen a few weeks ago to an unidentified illness. She was laying every couple of days at that point-still not what we were getting just a few months earlier.

    How long is "too long" where a short break in laying should actually be considered an illness?
     
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Quote:There are a lot of variables.

    What are they eating?
    Is it it hot where you are?
    How much light are they getting?
    Breeds?
    Could she be hiding eggs?
    or eating eggs?
    Some hens will just do that. I had one EE that layed 12 eggs in 2 weeks then nothing for months. Did that for years.
    And of course the 800 lb gorilla, in the room, is the unidentified illness.

    Good luck,

    Imp
     
  3. Cincyhens

    Cincyhens New Egg

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    Sep 25, 2011
    What are they eating? Complete pellet mix, fresh vegetables from garden, rice
    Is it it hot where you are? Last month yes; now it is turning colder (40 degree night; 60 degree day); rainy
    How much light are they getting? Eleven hours or so; they didn't slow down this time last year.
    Breeds? They are mutts: part leghorn and part something else
    Could she be hiding eggs? No
    or eating eggs? No signs
    Some hens will just do that. I had one EE that layed 12 eggs in 2 weeks then nothing for months. Did that for years.
    And of course the 800 lb gorilla, in the room, is the unidentified illness.

    The gorilla is the main concern; since we just lost one hen to illness (not sure what it was); I want to catch something in this one early if it is illness-related.

    Thanks
     
  4. farmerChef

    farmerChef Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Southern Georgia
    My Coop
    Is her comb bright red and warm or cold and small?

    Does she act sickly or let the other(s) pick on her?

    If you pick her up, can you feel how far apart her pelvic bones and keel are?
    If they are very close together, she has stopped laying (for whatever reason)
    [​IMG]

    And while your down there, is there just one lump? One would be her Gizzard, if there are 2, one might be an egg, possibly stuck. Giving a warm water soak is supposed to help if egg-boung hens.
     
  5. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Quote:Maybe not enough light. It is usually recommended 14 hours of light per day for optimal laying. Some people say 12ish and up to 16ish. It is somewhat common for pullets to lay more during the first year, right through the winter.

    Maybe a getting ready to molt thing.

    I hope she doesn't get sick. Keep a close eye on her.

    Good luck

    Imp
     
  6. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    WoW this I read all the time. There are so much and so many variables, how can anyone really predict?
     

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