No eggs in 6 months.


In the Brooder
Dec 2, 2015
Providence, RI
I started raising chickens 2 years ago and I was getting 5 eggs a day from 8 hens. Last year I bought an incubator and added another 12 chicks to the mix. With the increased size of the flock, I decided to let them go free range. They seem very happy and active, but since I let them roam, the number of eggs dropped. At first I would find a few eggs around the yard, but then I found none. I thought they must be hiding them, so I put them back into the fenced yard, but still, no eggs. None in the last 6 months. I looked for shells in case there was an egg-eater, but there are none. The chickens are in the same area as 2 guineafowl and 2 turkeys, but they leave each other alone. I even tried keeping the chickens inside for a few days to see if they were laying, but nothing. I read that some worms may cause them to stop laying, so I treated them for worms, but still nothing. The chickens all seem to be very healthy, so I am puzzled. Can anyone tell me what to try next?
What breed are your older hens? Of the batch of 12 you added last year, how many are roosters and how many are hens you are expecting to lay eggs? What breed are they? What are you feeding them? How big is the coop they are in at night?

Egg eaters will eat the shells of the eggs they are eating too, so it is possible you have an egg eater.

Is your coop snake proof and other predator proof? Could a snake be getting in and eating the eggs? I have ravens that can and will go into my coop and steal the eggs right out if they are able to get it and get to the eggs.

Things that can stop a hen from laying include old age, stress, not being fed correctly, not getting enough daylight hours, etc.
They eat a lot of higher protein fodder (perennial peanut) plus a the run of a compost pile, and I supplement with egg layer feed. I could try adding more calcium.
The new 12 were from eggs of the mix of the 8 hens I had, but don't know what cock fertilized them (either necked neck or RIR). Of the 12, only 2 are males. (There were 6 males, but 4 of them are gone) As far as predators go, the spaces to enter is no greater than 1 inch.
I think the feed may be your issue. They should have access to layer feed free choice all the time. It should be their main ration to ensure they are getting all the nutrients they need. They may not be getting what they need nutritionally to lay eggs.
It is good to make sure they are getting plenty of calcium, like I said, add oyster shells to their feed. I feed fruits and vegetables as treats to help promote laying. You might here someone say that giving a chicken fruits slows down laying production, it doesn't

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