my hen stopped laying

dublinfeather

Chirping
5 Years
Jun 5, 2014
41
0
60
I have one hen who has been a great layer and recently she's laid a couple of soft shelled eggs, which had broken in the nest. Now suddenly she's stopped laying all together while the other three are laying fine. They have a good diet and plenty of water, she's around two years old so what could the problem be?
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
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St. Louis, MO
Second autumn is usually the time of their first adult molt. So that could be the stoppage. It doesn't explain the soft eggs though.

What is a good diet? What makes up their total feed intake?
 

dublinfeather

Chirping
5 Years
Jun 5, 2014
41
0
60
Second autumn is usually the time of their first adult molt. So that could be the stoppage. It doesn't explain the soft eggs though.

What is a good diet? What makes up their total feed intake?
They are free range and have egg layer crumbles with oyster shell mixed in. They get limited fruit/vegetable scrapes. But the other hen her age isn't doing the same as she is.
 

iwiw60

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
5,291
660
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Central Oregon
They are free range and have egg layer crumbles with oyster shell mixed in. They get limited fruit/vegetable scrapes. But the other hen her age isn't doing the same as she is.
I don't 'mix' the oyster shell with the feed. Keep a container of oyster shell on the side...chickens know how much to eat of it. You might also give them some hard-boiled eggs, shell and all crushed up real good...they love them and it is great extra protein for egg production.
 

dublinfeather

Chirping
5 Years
Jun 5, 2014
41
0
60
X2
Never mix additives with feed. They need to select what they want. The layer is already 4% calcium. If it's coated with oyster shell dust you could be double that.
It's possible for excess calcium to cause egg shell problems because of an imbalance of calcium, phosphorus and D3.

http://www.nutrecocanada.com/docs/s...g-formation-and-eggshell-quality-in-layers.pd
We tried the bowl with just oyster shell and they never even touched it. They eat most of it in their plate and leave a good portion behind but they also share with sparrows and other assorted birds that scavenge off their food
 

cafarmgirl

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
5,521
609
327
California, central valley
Have you picked her up recently and checked her over real good? See if she's lost or gained weight, check carefully for mites or lice. Are they on a regular deworming program? Lots of things that it could be but aside from getting ready to molt these would be my next considerations. It's the laying of the soft shelled, broken eggs and then stopping laying that is a bit concerning.
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
32,799
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St. Louis, MO
We tried the bowl with just oyster shell and they never even touched it. They eat most of it in their plate and leave a good portion behind but they also share with sparrows and other assorted birds that scavenge off their food

They may not have touched it since they were already getting 4% calcium in their layer feed and didn't need it. The main point is you don't want to feed excessive calcium. If you mix oyster shell with a 4% calcium feed, they're getting too much.
 

dublinfeather

Chirping
5 Years
Jun 5, 2014
41
0
60
Have you picked her up recently and checked her over real good? See if she's lost or gained weight, check carefully for mites or lice. Are they on a regular deworming program? Lots of things that it could be but aside from getting ready to molt these would be my next considerations. It's the laying of the soft shelled, broken eggs and then stopping laying that is a bit concerning.
Her weight is good and she regularly gives herself a dust bath. They have been picking at a pumpkin that is in the yard
 

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