Is it cause it's winter?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jajika, Nov 28, 2017.

  1. Jajika

    Jajika Songster

    Dec 24, 2007
    Northern California
    I have seven hens, two years old, who have stopped laying. They just came through a molt, and now the days are a lot shorter. Their combs are not bright red, which tells me they are not in the laying mood, but I've never gone through such an egg-laying drought.

    Anyone else having this same circumstance?
    penny1960 likes this.
  2. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator

    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    Yes, I’m in exactly the same boat :( I have not had an egg for weeks out of my 11 hens. They are coming through a heavy molt, short days and it’s cold here right now.
    twisted-acres-farm and penny1960 like this.
  3. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Welcome to molt! Out of a fleet of layers, I was down to just three still squirting out eggs. Now one of them is starting to drop feathers and she has stopped with the eggs.

    The two still laying are two years and under one year. All the others have pale, dry combs. This signifies they are not producing hormones and are not presently fertile. The rooster is ignoring all but the two young things.
    penny1960 likes this.
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Quite normal. I have 4 flocks of layers. 3, 7, 7 and 12 in each respective flock the first two stopped completely, one egg from the other 7 and nine eggs from the 12. Even some of the pullets that hatched early this year have stopped even though they're not molting.
    penny1960 likes this.
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Raise the protein content to 18 to 21% protein and dry fish based cat food as a treat twice a week..Helps with molt..I never feed layer feed...Grower with oyster shell if laying..
    penny1960 likes this.
  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Crowing

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    Perfectly normal for them to take time off after their moult. What people don't seem to realise is that eggs are actually seasonal produce. It's just that we are so used to being able to buy eggs year round from artificially manipulated birds in factories that we assume it is normal for them to lay through winter.
    That said, pullets will often lay right through their first winter but during and after their first adult moult at about 18months, many hens will take 2-4 months off. In my opinion it does their system good to have a natural break. It's about 2 weeks since my last egg and because I didn't raise any pullets this past summer, I probably won't start to see anymore eggs until Christmas or maybe early January, but some may wait until Feb or Mar. Most of them are now over the worst of their moult and looking much better and starting to put a bit of weight back on, so they are slowly building back up to laying condition.
    With each year that passes, their winter break will usually be a little longer but you often find that their eggs increase in size slightly, the older they get.
  7. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

  8. penny1960

    penny1960 Going back to La La Land

    Dec 29, 2015
    Mossyrock, WA
    You will find most of us in that boat had myself set birds of many ages 9 of them ganged up on one little EE killed her so they turned into soup bought severel laying age or just before have lights in both coops seeing 6 ore so now
  9. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Huh?....I'm confused..
    penny1960 likes this.
  10. penny1960

    penny1960 Going back to La La Land

    Dec 29, 2015
    Mossyrock, WA
    about what stagger ages they are not all in molt at once?

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