Need help! Hen is not laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BlueJuniper, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. BlueJuniper

    BlueJuniper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know that this forum is probably really repetitive to a lot of you chicken experts, but I am really at a loss. I did a little research, and apparently chickens will stop laying for a number of reasons like molting, time of the year, broodiness, and age, but none of these seem to fit my situation. I have a silkie, (and I know that they are known to go broody) but I swear that I have not seen her in the nesting box for at least 4 weeks now. Originally she was my first chicken to lay, and initially laid about ten eggs, and then she just stopped. Please help me by either confirming that she is broody, or if there is a deeper problem I am unaware of.

    Please help!!!!!! [​IMG]


    -BlueJuniper
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Hens, young, old, and in between, can decide for their own mysterious reasons to take time off from laying. The length of their spontaneous "vacation" depends solely on their whims and hormones.

    I've had a Black Cochin take an entire year off, then after molting, laid straight through the entire next year.

    This year I have a two year old Black Copper Marans who is showing no signs of being ready to start laying again after her first molt, while a Cream Legbar of the same age, never had her first molt and has kept laying uninterrupted since she began as a point of lay pullet.

    If there were health reasons behind your hen not laying, it would be noticeable. She would be off her feed, her poop would be watery and white with green stuff in it, and she would be mute while hanging around at the edges of the flock with her tail held low and flat.

    If none of those symptoms are present, you can probably assume your hen will start laying again when she decides she's ready.
     
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  3. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    If she is running around eating and doing chicken things----other than staying in the Nest 23+hrs per day----she is not broody. They stop, some times for weeks, but she will start back----might not lay but a few eggs then go broody---but she will lay again----keep looking.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Do you free range?
    Is she hanging with the other birds all day long?
    Does she roost/sleep with the rest of the flock at night?
    If you haven't seen her on a nest in a month, then she's probably not broody.

    More info about your flock, and this bird, would help.
     
  5. BlueJuniper

    BlueJuniper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you all so much for the feed back!!!
    I do free range my chickens, but she is really on the bottom of the pecking order. I have a three level roost, and from what I know, she sleeps on the lowest of the three bars.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    She may be laying out in the range area.

    Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop for 3-4 days (or longer) can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. Fake eggs/golf balls in the nests can help 'show' them were to lay. They can be confined to coop 24/7 for a few days to a week, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.
     
  7. FlyingNunFarm

    FlyingNunFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I have a Black Copper Maran who I'm not sure has ever layed an egg. She's a year old now and I thought she must be laying but I'm really questioning it. I unfortunately lost 6 girls in the last year, 3 of those being in April alone. (Old age) With fewer girls I really noticed the difference. Thinking more and more about it I never see her in a nest box. The boys don't go after her. Then I felt her pubic bones and they are definitely closer together then the rest of my girls.

    She acts completely normal. Eats, poops, roosts with the others. Her comb is red like she has the right hormones.

    I'm at a loss. Any ideas?
     

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