No Eggs+2 New Girls--Is This Normal?

HobbitWife

In the Brooder
Jun 11, 2020
19
85
49
Hi Everyone!

Hope you're all doing well.
Our tiny flock (5 at the time) mostly stopped laying around Halloween. We had one hen who was still laying well, but everyone else pretty much stopped. We had a bit of a "perfect storm" of factors, so I wasn't surprised:
1. No supplemental lighting. We live at the Illinois/Wisconsin border, so daylight hours are short right now.
2. We ran out of their regular food (we generally buy in bulk once a month), and had to give them starter feed mixed with oyster shells for about a week. When we got more layer feed for them, it was an abrupt switch, and to a new brand.
3. They had a raccoon scare--we found one in the coop at dusk! It was waiting in the back corner. Thankfully, my husband dispatched it quickly, and we didn't lose any birds.
4. 4 out of 5 hens went through a hard molt.
Now, however, all the hens have stopped laying. We got two more hens a week ago (all of our birds have come from the same farm,) and our girls' ages are pretty mixed. Of course, I realize it's winter, so production is just going to be down. However, we now have supplemental lighting (6:30-8:30am and 4:30-9pm, I think) and everyone seems used to the new feed. The new hens are pretty docile--they mostly stay out of the others' way and don't like to make trouble. At least one of the new girls was laying before we got her, but now she's stopped. Is this normal? I figured it might take her a few days to settle in, but we're still not getting any eggs at all! This is our first winter having chickens, so we're not sure what to expect.
 

Chookchicken

🎄Fluffiest In The Flock🎄
Premium Feather Member
Dec 4, 2020
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It can take about two weeks for chickens to start laying again after you get them. And egg production does stop a lot during winter I was only getting one or two eggs every few days in winter. Stress is also a big factor so changes in seed, changes in weather, predator attacks etc all that stuff can impact the way a chicken lays. They should start laying again eventually I’d keep an eye on them for a few weeks, but I wouldn’t be to worried. Best of luck :)
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
our girls' ages are pretty mixed.
How old are they, in months?
I'm guessing the hard molters are about 18 months?

However, we now have supplemental lighting (6:30-8:30am and 4:30-9pm, I think)
When did you start the lighting?
It can take awhile for the lights to have an affect, it's not like flipping a switch :gig
 

HobbitWife

In the Brooder
Jun 11, 2020
19
85
49
How old are they, in months?
I'm guessing the hard molters are about 18 months?


When did you start the lighting?
It can take awhile for the lights to have an affect, it's not like flipping a switch :gig
Lol! Oh, how I love puns... :)
We started the lighting around the beginning of November. It wasn't long after we realized we weren't getting any eggs.
Regarding their ages: I'm not entirely sure, but yes, 18 months sounds about right. We bought them fully grown from a friend.
Thank you both for your help!
 

Duckbreeder2020

Crossing the Road
Sep 18, 2020
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25,255
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New Jersey
We got chickens and they didn’t lay for 2 weeks after we got them. They started laying and stopped for a month because of storms that kept scaring them
 

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