My chickens stopped laying, and one won't come out of the coop!

cartoncm

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 24, 2014
4
3
42
I have only 3 chickens which started laying eggs in February. Last year all of my previous chickens were murdered by a stray dog, so I've been keeping the new chickens in a much smaller pen away from the street. Over the winter, they lived in my garden area, but a few weeks ago I built a new area for them, so I can use my garden. After I moved them, they continued laying for a while. My 11 year old daughter was allowing her friends to come over and see the chickens, probably chasing them down in order to hold them. This was a daily activity, until I stopped it a week ago. Now, for over a week none of my chickens have been laying eggs, and one of them stays in the nest all day long, only coming out once in the morning to eat and roll in the dirt.
I've picked her up, held her, felt her body, and she seems normal and healthy. She just won't come out, and won't lay eggs.
Any ideas? Thanks!
 

DomesticGoddess

In the Brooder
9 Years
Aug 10, 2010
70
5
31
I would consider stress, in which case it will just take a little while to lay again. But I wonder if you have a broody, which make a lot of sense. She just might want to hatch some eggs, you can break it or just give it time. Keep taking her eggs away and eventually she'll give up. It's normal for them to get off the nests for short periods. More aggressively you can put her in wire cage for a day or so and that usually breaks them. Good luck!
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
3,900
581
Southern Oregon


Is it possible your hens are laying somewhere besides the nest box? Have you searched their entire enclosure for hidden nests?

The hen that won't come off the nest--does she sleep there? If so, she's broody. Lots of threads here on dealing with broody hens. Basically, you need to decide if you want her to raise chicks or not.
 

cartoncm

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 24, 2014
4
3
42
I think she is broody. I gave her an egg to sit on, and she pushed it under her and sat back down on it. I don't know why the other chickens won't lay though. I'm trying to find a place where I can buy fertilized eggs for her to hatch.
 
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