My girls quit laying last month

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by widow77, Nov 2, 2014.

  1. widow77

    widow77 New Egg

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    Apr 5, 2012
    COOPERSVILLE, MICHIGAN
    It seems my hens stopped laying at my neighbors and I started feeding them scraps out of the garden, not a problem the last couple of years but this year they got a bunch of tomato scraps. could that have caused it.
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    Jul 24, 2013
    Chickens can stop laying for many reasons, but I don't think simply overfeeding tomatoes would be a cause. Feeding too many scraps, though, could be the problem. A chicken's main diet should be commercial layer feed, with treats making up less than 10% of the diet. Otherwise, birds overeat on treats and don't get enough nutrition to lay well.

    There are possibilities, too. How old are your hens? It is common for older birds to slow down laying at this time of year as the daylight hours shorten and their bodies tell them to molt. Molting is perfectly normal for birds that are about a year old, or older (chickens molt every year). While they molt and regrow feathers, most hens stop laying so their bodies can focus on feather production.

    Another possibility is that your hens aren't laying due to stress. Have there been any predator attacks lately, or anything particularly disruptive going on in the area (construction work, bad storm, etc.)? Stress often causes birds to stop laying for from a few weeks to a month or more.

    Poor health might also be a factor. I would examine at least a few of your birds for anything abnormal. Check for mites/lice, injury, strange swelling, nasal discharge, etc. Also make note of whether they seem to weigh enough and be acting normal otherwise. Disease or injury are both stresses that will make hens stop egg production.

    A last possibility is that your hens are hiding their eggs. Do they run around in an enclosed area, or free range? Hens have a habit of making creative nests in other places, so you may have to go on an egg hunt.

    Best wishes to you and your flock.
     

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