My girls have stopped laying!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by nhchickmom, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. nhchickmom

    nhchickmom Songster

    Nov 6, 2008
    Thornton, NH
    Hmmm......this is our first winter with chickens and I am surpsised that they have slowed down laying soooo much. It does get very cold here about 20 during the day and zero at night with short days. With this said we feed them extra in the winter, supply a heat lamp, and have a light on in the coop for 14 hrs a day. Up until a week ago they were laying normally and now we haven't seen an egg in over 3 days. Any thoughts? Is this normal? Should I be concerned? [​IMG]
  2. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    Very normal. My neighbors has 5 laying hens and were getting 5 eggs/day. Now they're getting 1-3.

    They'll pick up again in the early spring. Think Feb.
  3. bills

    bills Songster

    Jan 4, 2008
    vancouver island
    Sounds like you are doing everything correctly.

    Maybe something scared them, or simply their reaction to a major weather change. A good scare from a predator, high winds, unusual goings on around the yard, or noises..they can stop laying for the silliest of reasons sometimes...
  4. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    Sounds normal, I think it has a lot to with the hen its self, nothing you are or arent doing.... Winter stinks !!!!
  5. freshegg

    freshegg Songster

    May 15, 2008
    my hens havent laid in about 6 weeks I was getting 5-7 eggs daily from 8 hens I also have 5 hens that are about 5 months old never laid its normal in the winter.
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    I don't know about you, but I had the same problem for awhile...then I caught my youngest dog squeezing into my pop door and stealing eggs!!!

    I went from zero to 9 eggs in the following days! Each day I am getting more! I think the combination of him stealing the eggs and just being in the henhouse was enough to upset my gals into going on strike until I removed the offending mongrel!!! [​IMG]
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm 10 Years

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I agree with Beekissed. Hopefully you don't have an egg eater.
  8. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Very normal. Other than production hens the average chcken lays 240 - 285 eggs a year. That leaves a lot of down time for rejuvination and resting.

    The natural cycle of molting and ceased laying gives them a greatly needed biological rest.

    I would turn off the extra light, let them have a normal down time winter and prolong rheir laying life in the long run.
  9. nhchickmom

    nhchickmom Songster

    Nov 6, 2008
    Thornton, NH
    Quote:Thanks for reassuring me. I will just let them be and enjoy their funniness for the winter months. [​IMG]
  10. nhchickmom

    nhchickmom Songster

    Nov 6, 2008
    Thornton, NH
    Quote:Hmmm.... this could definitely be it. About a week ago we lost a chicken very mysteriously. There were feathers everywhere and a chicken missing. No blood or anything in the coop, but she was definitely taken. The coop door was closed in the morning so we think that possibly the very high winds we had swung the door open and a predator got in and snatched up one of the girls. I guess I didn't realize this could effect them emotionally so much! We have since solved this problem with a pad lock.

    Thank you for the advice.

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