My chickens won't lay me solve the mystery, please!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ChickAddiction, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. ChickAddiction

    ChickAddiction New Egg

    Jun 7, 2009
    I REALLY hope someone out there can help me figure this out because it has driven us batty for many months. First, let me give you a little background on our flock. We started raising chickens in Spring of 2009 when we built a good sized coop and bought a flock of laying Buff Orpingtons. They laid great and we probably got 4-6 eggs per hen a week. As time went on, we added new breeds and enlarged our pen area. We had Easter Eggers, Rhode Island Reds, Welsummers, and a Silkie in addition to our Buffs. We fed them layer feed and threw out scratch. In 2010 we hatched a bunch of French Black Copper Marans and kept them in a seperate coop until they were mature, then added them to the flock. That seems to be about the time our production gradually decreased, but we were still getting a good amount of eggs.

    Last summer the production started declining worse and by the end of the summer, it had come to a halt. We tried everything we could think of...changed their feed, cleaned out the coop and put in straw instead of hay, put up different nesting boxes, moved the roosts around, started letting them out of the pen to free-range more often, name it, we tried it!

    We bought some D.E. a couple months ago and started putting it in their food and sprinkling it under their bedding. About that time, we started getting about ONE egg a day. We have 28 hens and one rooster. We have a good sized pen and coop.

    I'm thinking it could be one of 2 things: 1) our pen is completely scratched vegetation
    2) too many different breeds

    Any thoughts or ideas would be SOOO appreciated!! Thank you!
  2. allpeepedout

    allpeepedout Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 2, 2011
    Southern Indiana
    Have you read the sticky at the top of this section about why chickens won't lay? It's helpful. Just some additional guesses and questions: Since you bought your Buff Orps already laying in 2009, perhaps they were older than you thought? And now, they would be 3 years older... so they may be ending their careers. Also, last summer many people reported hens not laying in the extreme heat. If that was a factor, then the subsequent decline in light, starting as early as September, and/or molting may have further suppressed laying all winter, along with the stress of integrating more birds that were coming into maturity and readjusting the pecking order. Does the flock get along well now? Are they consuming about 1/4 lb layer feed per day per bird, so like a bag of feed a week for the number you have? Have you checked for parasites? What size is your good-sized coop and run? Could there be hidden eggs? Eaten eggs, by chicken or some other predator like a skunk or dog that's getting in? Hope they will restart for you soon as the days grow longer.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  3. stress from all the change? I don't know.
  4. ldomerese

    ldomerese Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 13, 2012
    i also gavent goten any eggs from frommy chickens this year at all and they bare 23 - 24 weeks
  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Changes can affect their laying habits. My birds don't have any grass in their yard pens either. They have demolished it. They do get some free range time but now I'm staying out with them when they free range, 1 to keep them out of the barn as they go in and poop on everything, 2 I have had hawks around lately. I have not yet lost a bird to a hawk and don't want to. I personally think all the changes you have made has contributed as chickens are creatures of habits. They don't deal with changes very well. Right now mine aren't performing very well but most of them are in molt. It looks like they have had pillow fights around their coops. They go through a major molt around this time every year. They may slow down during extremely hot or cold weather. My birds have a light on in their coops 24/7. They aren't bright lights (7 watts each). I have 6 coops all with lights in them. I used to put the lights on timers but I figures out the monthly cost of the lights and it came to about $3.00 monthly so no more timers. I have several breeds. Buff Orpingtons, Standard Rhode Island Reds, Heritage Rhode Island Reds, Single Comb Rhode Island Whites, Rose Comb Rhode Island Whites, Isa Browns and Red Sex Links. My Isa Browns are old gals but they still lay and lay big eggs. I hope yours start laying again soon. Let them get used to what they have. If you are changing feed maybe try a higher protein feed like a Flockraiser or Gamebird feed which is usually around 20% protein. I use ADM Advantage 22% poultry pellets. I do have a feed store in my area that will special order it for me. I use the higher protein feed too because I also hatch chicks and I think the vitality of the chicks is better. Good luck... [​IMG]
  6. cool, I kinda revived the tread!
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Even though this thread is several months old the same reasons apply and many people who raise chickens experience this at one time or another.
  8. Bearminator

    Bearminator New Egg

    Apr 1, 2013
    Rty buying a small radio, put on soft music, better classic, less commercials, and don't put it loud, once humans are away from them, late at night or very early in mornings, they will concentrate on music, and then, " Voila.." Breakfast eggs are ready..


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