My hens stopped laying eggs!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Peregrine, May 4, 2011.

  1. Peregrine

    Peregrine Songster

    May 28, 2009
    North Georgia
    I have two 10-month old hens. One of them gave me a few eggs in Feb. (we have a light in our coop), then stopped, and the other one gave me a few eggs in March, then nothing. Why have they stopped? They seem healthy, it's spring so they're not molting--what is it?

    An old farmer told me that if their combs are bright red, that means they're laying. He said that also applies to when they get older. The one that gave me eggs first has a pinkish comb, but the other one has a bright red comb, just like my older hens that are laying.

    I free-range my chickens, and I kept these two in the coop for a week; that's when I got one of the eggs from the one who laid in March, but then she stopped. And my other hen didn't lay anything.

    My husband says if they don't start laying soon, we'll have to give them a one-way ticket to the freezer. [​IMG]

    We give them layer pellets; is there anything else I can give them to get them laying?

    What are the symptoms if a chicken is egg-bound?

    How long should we wait?
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    I would suspect they've found a secret hiding place somewhere to lay their eggs.....Spend some time watching them......then you will find it! [​IMG]
  3. cybercat

    cybercat Songster

    May 22, 2007
    Greeneville, Tn
    Time for lock down again. They are hiding eggs to hatch. Also make sure your protien is higher than 16% for free ranging. I feed 20% and free range. The ranging will cut feed protien down some and 16% goes down to 12 to 14% and is not enough to lay on. Up that protien lock them up for a week and you should be good to go.
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    You didn't say what breed they are.
    Also, you said there's light in the coop. How many hours of light/dark a day counting sun/artificial light.
    Last edited: May 4, 2011
  5. Peregrine

    Peregrine Songster

    May 28, 2009
    North Georgia
    Quote:Thanks; I didn't know that about the protien. I thought they mostly needed protien to rebuild feathers when they're molting, and calcium when they're laying. I guess the feed bag will tell me what percent protien it has in the food. What is a good way of adding more protien?
    Last edited: May 4, 2011
  6. Peregrine

    Peregrine Songster

    May 28, 2009
    North Georgia
    Quote:The hen with the pinkish comb gave me a few blue eggs in Feb, so I'm sure she's an EE (she's the first offspring we've had from my EE hen and an unknown rooster, which I now know must be EE, since his daughter laying blue eggs), and the other hen gave us pale pink/brown eggs, just like one of my other hens, which I think is a RIR. I bought my first set of chicks from a local farmer, who wasn't too specific on their breed. [​IMG]

    We had the light on for 15 hrs total light (the timer turned it on at 5am, off after the sun rose, on just before sunset, and off at 8pm)
  7. marykchickens

    marykchickens Hatching

    May 4, 2011
    Are you feeding them the layer feed too or just scratch?? You have to feed
    laying feed too
  8. Peregrine

    Peregrine Songster

    May 28, 2009
    North Georgia
    Yes, we just feed them layer feed (and kitchen scraps). But all of my hens eat the same thing. The older 4 are laying fine, almost daily. It's just these 2 that are being stubborn.


    Mar 2, 2011
    I have had the same problem with my Sex-Link Hens but they are a little older (3 years old) I even went so far as to call a vet and see what was wrong. She said " Always remember, the only hen that will lay an egg is a happy one. If a hen feels safe, secure and cared for (and is healthy) she will lay. If she stops, she is telling you that something is wrong."

    Best advice I was ever given. Hens are very picky when it comes to laying. I found out that a possum had been harassing my girls at night and since possums are a predator, the hens refused to lay in that coop because their maternal instinct told them it was not safe for babies.

    Your hens are proably laying their eggs in the yard or in some high grass. Coop them up for about three weeks (I did this and it worked) and provide a nest box about 8 inches lower than the roost that is in a dry, draft-free place. Then ,every day, make sure the nest box has plenty of bedding in it and is still dry. Feed the Hens Layers Pellets and some extra Oyster Shells and in a week or so you'll have eggs. Then when you let them out (I advise after about ten eggs per hen) Leave the coop door open so the hens can come and go as they please. They will still forage in the yard but when it's egg time they should return to the coop.

    I did this with my Red Sex-Links and Black Giant (no longer have) hens in march because they all started in Febuary. Because of the possum I moved my girls to a safer pen and kept them in lock down for three (almost 4) weeks. Then let the out in the mornings and all but one laid in the coop. I got this idea from BYC! Hope it helps!

    Always Happy to Offer My Experiance!

    Timothy in KY [​IMG]
  10. schellie69

    schellie69 Songster

    Oct 8, 2009
    I had a simliear problem last summer with my hens. I was free ranging them. I got a good game bird feed 22% and the egg production went back up. Plus their molt went so much better with the higher protein.

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