Is it normal: my 18 month old hens stopped laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by petalumapaul, Oct 31, 2015.

  1. petalumapaul

    petalumapaul Out Of The Brooder

    I got my hens as chicks in April, a year and a half ago.
    Up until June they were laying 5 eggs a day. Six hens.
    Two Buff Orpington, two Auracauna, two Barred Rock.

    Now I get one egg a day. Northern California, the days are in the 70's, night maybe around 50 degrees.
    I feed them the same, organic layer pellets, with some snacks, sunflower seeds, kitchen scraps.

    One of the six was molting, but the rest did not seem to be.
    Is this one egg a day what I can expect going forward?
    It has been about two months since I got four or five eggs a day.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2015
  2. song of joy

    song of joy Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 22, 2012
    Central Pennsylvania
    Sounds like they're slowing down for the fall molt. They'll take anywhere from 2 to 4 months off from laying, with most of them resuming laying in January/February.

    Their protein demands increase during the molt, so the already-low protein level in the layer pellets (typically around 16%) will be diluted by other foods that are low in protein (e.g., treats, scraps).

    You may want to switch to an all-flock feed, especially during the molt. An all-flock feed typically has about 20% protein. I use Purina Flock Raiser (20% protein), and a couple of my hens are actually laying while also molting, which never happened when I gave them layer pellets. They're also feathering in faster. With the higher-protein feed, they seem to be getting enough protein to lay eggs and molt at the same time.

    Your Easter egger looks almost exactly like mine! She's so pretty!
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2015
  3. petalumapaul

    petalumapaul Out Of The Brooder

    Just went to the feed store, bought 20% pellets.
    Also put a light bulb in the coop with a timer.
    Will add light in the morning gradually.

    Thank you all for your good advice.

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