My hens stopped laying!

Jun 13, 2017
4
4
7
I have around 25 hens and one rooster about a dozen of which are laying. They are free range and stay cooped up at night. They were laying consistently all year, then me and my wife went to Alaska for ten days and the chickens were kept in the coop while we were gone and a farm sitter was tending them. While we were gone we lost our favorite broody hen and a duck who both died suddenly a day apart from each other. Since we've returned all our hens have stopped laying. Not sure if it is be caused by the stress or they have all become egg bound, but we have been home almost two weeks and still no eggs. Someone please help us!!!
 

ronott1

A chicken will always remember the egg
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I have around 25 hens and one rooster about a dozen of which are laying. They are free range and stay cooped up at night. They were laying consistently all year, then me and my wife went to Alaska for ten days and the chickens were kept in the coop while we were gone and a farm sitter was tending them. While we were gone we lost our favorite broody hen and a duck who both died suddenly a day apart from each other. Since we've returned all our hens have stopped laying. Not sure if it is be caused by the stress or they have all become egg bound, but we have been home almost two weeks and still no eggs. Someone please help us!!!
Chickens are funny. Stress can make them stop laying for sure but....There is a very strong chance that they have a secret nest or two. It is time to go on an egg hunt!

One trick is to listen for the egg song and then go to where the hen is singing it. The nest will be close to her singing the song.

Otherwise, make sure they are eating a good layer feed and have free choice calcium. A good vitamin and probiotic too. Restrict treats until they are laying well again.
 
Jun 13, 2017
4
4
7
They haven't been vocal much since we got back and I have been looking around in their usual hang outs. They've been on a diet of lay mash from our local feed store but I do not give them too much since they free range. I think I'll give switching up the feed a try. I just hope they snap out of it!
 

ronott1

A chicken will always remember the egg
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They haven't been vocal much since we got back and I have been looking around in their usual hang outs. They've been on a diet of lay mash from our local feed store but I do not give them too much since they free range. I think I'll give switching up the feed a try. I just hope they snap out of it!
They will start laying again soon.

:fl
 

aart

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Welcome to BYC....sorry you're having troubles.

Do you know why the 2 birds died...illness, predator attack,...??
Were the birds laying the whole time you were gone?
How old are these birds?

They should have feed always available even if they are ranging and not eating much of it.
Stress could definitely be a factor, chickens don't like change and all react differently to it.

What is your climate?
Adding your location to your profile can give important clues and garner better answers/suggestions.
 
Jun 13, 2017
4
4
7
We are not sure why the two birds died and they were disposed of before we returned. The we're laying at first and less and less until finally nothing at all. They range in age from about seven months old and a couple are over a year old. We are in the poconos in Pennsylvania I believe temps were in the 70s while we were gone.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Could just be stress from the changes of being confined, 2 flock mates dying(change in pecking order), and different people tending them.
I assume they had mash available 24/7 while you were gone because they couldn't range?
Hopefully they'll settle back in soon and start laying again.
 

NY Chicky

Chirping
6 Years
May 21, 2013
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My chickens (well, all except one hen) have stopped laying - I cannot figure it out. They have lots of food and water, are let out to forage usually once a day (in the afternoon). Two birds were added last year (right before winter), but other than that, we haven't had any major changes. They get layer pellets every day, and scratch grain about every other day.
 

ronott1

A chicken will always remember the egg
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Mar 31, 2011
68,613
194,971
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Woodland, CA
My Coop
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My chickens (well, all except one hen) have stopped laying - I cannot figure it out. They have lots of food and water, are let out to forage usually once a day (in the afternoon). Two birds were added last year (right before winter), but other than that, we haven't had any major changes. They get layer pellets every day, and scratch grain about every other day.
Hens do that sometimes. Weather changes, stress, predators, but also molting after they are two years old.

Someone once posted that chickens are not a vending machine, they are Animals. You can 't put in a quarter and always get an egg to pop out.

they will start up again. Are there a lot of feathers? Could they have a hidden nest?
 

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