Keep my hens from the soup--why aren't they laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by WalkingOnSunshine, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2008
    Has anyone ever had a really loooong moult? Our hens stopped laying around Christmas. They moulted, with feathers everywhere. Now they all look great. But still no e g g s. I have 25 hens, and yesterday I got 4 e g g s.

    If they don't start laying in the next 3 weeks, they're outta here. I can't keep feeding them, with no e g g s to pay for the feed!

    What can I do to get these girls to lay?

    Here's the basic info:

    *They are all about 25 months old
    *They get 16 hours of light a day. When we saw them start to moult we turned off their lights so they'd have a break, left the lights off for 3 weeks, and then brought them back to 16 hours. No dice.
    *They free range.
    *They get fed Layena and treats
    *I've never wormed them--is this the problem?

    Help me and my girls out! I like many of these chickens and don't want to butcher or put them on Craig's List.


  2. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    I am not sure about the molt, but I have one that went on strike at the end of October and has YET to start up again.
  3. Superman11383

    Superman11383 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    Bunnell, Florida
    My dad usually goes out to the Hen house and puts on a little Tom Jones. Apparently that makes all the girls lay.
  4. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    My two leghorns quit two weeks ago. I don't know how to get them to lay, between them they were giving me 11 eggs a week... now they are looking like stewing hens.
  5. Jubaby

    Jubaby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2008
    West Texas
    I have a young hen who just started laying in November. Now has not layed an e g g in a month. I know she's not moulting yet. Can't figure this one out either????
  6. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would look around the house and see if maybe they are hiding them. Can you lock them in the coop area for a coulpe days to make sure that they are not hiding them anywhere.

    For me if they do not lay they go. I have them for a reason.
  7. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2008
    We've looked really carefully for hidden eggs, and during January and February they didn't really step a foot outside in the snow, so I don't think they're hiding them.

    I agree, if they don't lay eggs, they go. But what a bite to cull 25 month old hens, with what we've invested in them.

    Any ideas anyone?
  8. Backyard Buddies

    Backyard Buddies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Orange County, CA
    I have one EE who didn't lay for nearly 7 months. She was 3 years old on the 27th of March. Since resuming in the middle of February, she's been averaging 4 - 5 e g g s a week. All of my girls slowed or stopped completely and one girl had soft shells and no shelled e g g s at the same time.

    My personal theory is that it was a bad batch of food. Both bags I bought came from the same pallet. It looked and smelled differently than usual. I suspect it was just a production mistake.

    I'm now getting 13 - 14 e g g s per week. Not too bad for 3 girls who're now 3 years old.
  9. Up-the-Creek

    Up-the-Creek Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2008
    West Virginia
    Im having the same problem, no luck with any good answers. I give up. Either they will lay or they won't. I hate for them to have to go to the freezer at only 12 months old.
  10. DMBAK

    DMBAK New Egg

    Nov 9, 2008
    It's a good idea to look around the house. I found e g g s under an elevated woodpile in my sugar shack when I started making maple syrup a few weeks ago. The e g g s were frozen in the ground. My chickens free ranged last fall and I guess one of the girls liked the sugar shack better than the nesting box.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2009

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