I broke my hen’s laying spell

ThatTeowonna

Songster
Oct 12, 2020
286
648
181
Columbia, SC
Hillary, probably 10 months old, was my laying champ. She laid an egg every single day that I’ve had her for 48 days. She even laid an egg in the cage on the ride home from the farm where I got her.
This went on until I closed off her laying coop. I got two new chicks and needed to keep them in that coop while they integrated into the flock. Hillary wasn’t sleeping in that coop, just laying eggs there. She slept in another coop with the other 5 hens. Both coops were always open... they laid and slept wherever they wanted. When I closed off one coop, the other girls didn’t miss a beat... they just laid in the other coop... the one they all sleep in. But not Hillary. She held her egg. I know she wanted her nest but I thought she’d use the other coop, but she didn’t. She just didn’t lay that day.
The next day, I saw how badly she wanted her nest, walking around the door and making low laying noises, so I opened the door to let the two new chicks out. Once they cleared the coop, she immediately went in and laid her egg. She was happy and I was too.
And that was the last time she’s laid. She’s still queen of the hill, she’s just not laying. That was 10 days ago.
So, I understand why she stopped laying. I’m now wondering if there’s anything I can do to help her get started again. Her nest is open and the new girls are starting to settle in. I’m not super concerned but just wondering...
 

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Bummer.
Could be she's gonna take a break.
There's not anywhere she could have a hidden nest, do you free range?
Most pullets keep laying all winter, but she not start up again until the days get longer after Solstice.
Only time will tell.
They free range throughout my back yard. There are no hidden eggs. I've looked.
 
They free range throughout my back yard. There are no hidden eggs. I've looked.
They are sneaky....don't rule it out.
Only way to know for sure is to confine them, might be tough given your circumstances.

Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop/run for a week or so can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. Fake eggs/golf balls in the nests can help 'show' them were to lay. They can be confined to coop and maybe run 24/7 for a few days to a week, provided you have adequate space and ventilation, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.
 
They are sneaky....don't rule it out.
Only way to know for sure is to confine them, might be tough given your circumstances.

Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop/run for a week or so can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. Fake eggs/golf balls in the nests can help 'show' them were to lay. They can be confined to coop and maybe run 24/7 for a few days to a week, provided you have adequate space and ventilation, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.
I’ll look around again for eggs. I do have a lot of leaves in my yard. Maybe she made her own nest.
 

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