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Is she on strike?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by project7030, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. project7030

    project7030 Chirping

    Apr 28, 2011
    South Central Montana
    Ok ive read about all the reasons a hen would stop laying. Ive got supplemental lighting in the coop, she doesnt act sick,or look like shes molting, yet my EE hasnt laid in a month. And shes not stashing them anywhere either. Is it possible she will go all winter without laying?

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    There area lot of different reasons a hen will stop laying. They don't all correspond to the molt or lighting.

    First, I'd rule out whether something is eating them. It sounds like it is just her and the others are laying, so that may already be ruled out, but I'll ask an obvious question.

    Has she been laying and just stoppped? I'd guess that she was laying a blue or green egg and you are no longer getting that colored egg, but again an obvious question.

    I don't know how old she is either. Again, I doubt that is the problem?

    Many hens cut back laying in extreme weather. My number of eggs drop a bit in the heat of summer and some hens really cut back in cold weather, even if they are not molting. I would not be too surprised if cold weather were it. I also would not totally rule out molting either. Some hens really show it when they are molting, but some are pretty subtle about it. It is not always clear-cut.

    In answer to your specific question, even if she is not molting it is possible she will stop for the winter. You might look at her vent to see if it is large and moist or small and dry. If it is small and dry, she is not laying and probably will not in the near future.
  3. ChikeeMomma

    ChikeeMomma Songster

    Mar 29, 2009
    Mid Michigan
    Lots of good info for you from Ridgerunner! I see you live in Montana. I'm in Michigan and my birds had not been laying for 2.5-3 months due to their first hard molt and then we've had some extreme weather changes. Most are laying again -- my EEs are not. I have some winter hardy breeds -- BAs, BOs, RIRs, NHRs, BRs. I do have 4 EEs, too. Some EEs will lay infrequently in the colder months and some won't lay at all until spring. Some of my EEs are infrequent cold weather layers and some prefer a vacation from egg laying for the winter. I do keep a supplemental light on them.
  4. project7030

    project7030 Chirping

    Apr 28, 2011
    South Central Montana
    She is an April hatch. So I don't think she's old enough for molt. She was laying very consistently up to October. We've had about a week of really cold weather but thats about it. I haven't checked her vent yet. The only thing different I've noticed (about the same time she stopped laying) is the feathers on her back at the base of her tail are all ruffled up, but not falling out. I guess she must have just decided to take the winter off. Which is ok, I've got a number of other girls keeping up with the program. LOL.

    Thanks for the info!


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