My 6 chickens have stopped laying eggs for 3 months!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lesliekg, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. lesliekg

    lesliekg Out Of The Brooder

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    My son says that they're going to be soup soon if they don't start laying eggs! (lol)They've molted and their feathers have returned, they are about 2 yrs old and were laying beautifully until August when they suddenly stopped. I thought it was due to molting and started giving them "feather fixer" pellets. Well, it's now Dec. almost and not a single egg in 3 months! What am I doing wrong? I've even put in a fake egg to encourage them. This has me stymied... and it's slaying me to buy eggs. Thanks for any input.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    You're not doing anything wrong. Perfectly normal. It happens with 2 year old birds this time of year.
    All chickens will molt their second autumn and each thereafter(some first autumn)
    Some will resume after they've completely recovered but some may wait till after winter solstice when days start getting longer.
     
  3. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    Here is what is going on. In August, the went into molt. after they recovered, the shorter daylight phenomenon kicked in. There is a very interesting article written about how shorter light exposure affects chickens laying. I will have to search a little to find it and will post a link. Hold OFF WITH THE CHICKEN SOUP....[​IMG].. In the spring they will start producing again.
    WISHING YOU BEST [​IMG]
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    X2

    I wrote this some time back that takes the mystery out of it.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...chooks-and-many-many-more/11180#post_17735882

    I had a friend that got tired of waiting for eggs. She last got eggs in August of that year, fed them all winter and by the first of February she decided to give them away and start over. I begged her to wait a couple more weeks. The week after she gave them away, they all started laying.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2016
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  5. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    @
    • ChickenCanoe
    • IT WAS THE ARTICLE YOU POSTED THAT I HAD IN MIND.
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    That's what I was thinking. It took me a while to find it myself.

    One has to decide how important the eggs are to be produced year round. Some add a couple new pullets each year to get them through the dearth of eggs.
    Some just wait it out.
    Some cull the whole flock in the second autumn and start over.

    If they've completely recovered from their molt, you can start adding light to the coop.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2016
  7. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes perfectly normal.
    Think yourself lucky! I'm feeding almost 40 hens and pullets and getting 2 a day, 3 if I'm lucky. I've just had one come back online in the last couple of days, so hoping that is the start of things picking up but some will probably not restart before spring. This is why commercial poultry businesses cull the birds when they hit 18 months old and start with new pullets,
    That said, the eggs usually get larger as the bird gets older once they do start laying.
     
  8. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    @rebrascora
    No chicken soup today??? Or did you process one of those extra roosters.. [​IMG]
     
  9. ChkenKeeper

    ChkenKeeper Just Hatched

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    Well your question has so many answers and reasons, let me try just a few of them for you:
    1. High temperatures stop some chicken breeds from laying.
    2. Unhappy hens for what ever reason.
    3. Some critters frightening them, even small animals like mice.
    4. Molting definitely slows or stops production making for a slow start to producing eggs again.
    5. Cold weather can stop some breeds from laying.

    You probably have some of the above happening.

    Try this: Do not feed your chickens any treats at all. Force them to eat their layer food only and trust me if you give them no treats at all they will consume more of the layer feed which is what you want, Layer feed means eggs, treats do not. If it is winter now where you are increase a longer light cycle to at least 14 hours every day, even if you have to run electricity out to your coup and use just regular light bulbs. Longer light times equals more feeding time and thus promotes greater egg production. :)
     
  10. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh yes. It's chicken broth for lunch every day here at the moment and chicken casserole for dinner! For chicken read cockerel though.... my ladies are safe.... even if they are on an extended holiday.
     

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