how to keep hens laying all year

Michael OShay

5 Years
May 14, 2014
Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. If your hens are not laying, there are several that need to be asked. First are your hens molting? Molting hens will not lay until after they finish their molt. Second, are they broody. Broody hens will not lay. Third, do they have plenty of light for at least several hours per day? Light striking a hen's pineal gland is what stimulates her to lay. Fourth, has anything happened recently to stress your hens (predators in the area, barking dogs, a move from one location to another, too many roosters in your flock over-breeding your hens, etc.)? Hens under stress will stop laying. Fifth, are your hens being free ranged? If so, they could be laying somewhere else besides the nesting boxes. Sixth, are your hens in good health? Poor health caused by illness, mite or lice infestations, etc. can cause your hens to stop laying. Sixth, how old are your hens? Old age can certainly bring their laying to an end. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Cheers.
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Yorkshire Coop

Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Aug 16, 2014
Hi :welcome

Glad you could join us here! Michael has left you a great answer to your question as to why your hens may not be laying.

Wishing you the very best of luck and enjoy BYC :frow

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Aug 26, 2009
Out to pasture


5 Years
Dec 16, 2015
Florida panhandle
I had the same question because only our Leghorns and a couple of Marans are laying. Many thanks to Michael Oshay for answering. I've been treating for parasites every other month since a vet diagnosed gapeworm in some chicks that died this summer, but maybe our hens haven't fully recovered from Fowl Pox they also got over the summer. I also got permission from the state for CRD killed virus vaccines in October. They got boosters on 6 Dec, and the last Ivermectin was early Nov. If the shots aren't still stressing them, and assuming the vaccines took, we might need to get rid of some roosters. However, they don't bother the hens in our Marsh Daisy flock, 6 hens who free range with their roo away from the others. Also, the 5 Sulmtaler hens have always had 2 roos who get along to protect them, and they free range apart from the extra roos too. I think both groups are done moulting, so maybe our rare breeds take a break during winter anyway. Maybe that's how most hens would extend their laying years if given their druthers. I'd be fine with that, but 2 Marsh Daisy hens I gave to a friend have started laying again. She has only 5 hens with no roo, which makes me wonder how many hens I should have per roo when I'm not trying to breed them.

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