No eggs in a week... all molting together or "on strike"?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Kelliarm, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. Kelliarm

    Kelliarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2012
    North of Seattle
    I have 5 hens and one rooster. They were good layers all winter until a few weeks ago when we dropped down to maybe one a day. Now we are not getting any eggs for the past week. Due to re-seeding my lawn I kept them in their coop for 3 days this week and confirmed no eggs (I usually free range so I thought perhaps they were laying where I couldn't see the eggs). Two of the hens are molting although not drastically. One of the 5 hens is older than the others and she molted last fall (and looked awful). So here is my question... is it possible the others are not molting but not laying eggs out of sympathy or some kind of biological coordination going on? I see no reason the older hen who molted months ago would not lay (but for the possibility she is just getting too old... she is around 3.5 years old). Should I be worried? Should I change diet? Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    3.5 years is old enough she could have quit, or simply reduced the number she lays drastically, like one a month or even a few a year.

    I'd suspect the other two are also molting and it's just very hard to see, or maybe about to molt, especially if they're about the same age as the ones that are molting. Another possibility is they stopped because of having been confined. Touchy things, these birds of ours....
     
  3. Kelliarm

    Kelliarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2012
    North of Seattle
    Yes, I had been under the impression that it would be easy to see them molting but that doesn't always seem to be the case. The 4 are all the same age and were raised together. So maybe they are molting together. Thanks!
     
  4. LoveChickens123

    LoveChickens123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    mine are the same way too they need protein
     
  5. chickgarden

    chickgarden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 1, 2012
    Hi! We are also north of Seattle and I'm noticing that we are also getting far fewer eggs over the last couple of weeks. The Black Sex Link and Ameraucana have continued to lay all winter, but the Brown Leghorn and Barnevelder have stopped. I was giving them supplementary light, but once I stopped that about a month ago (to give them a break) just two stopped laying.
    I'm wondering if up here where we are it's just not light enough during the day?
    Mine are all about one year old.
    I've noticed feathers and have been wondering in one of the Barnevelders may be going through a molt too.
     
  6. Kelliarm

    Kelliarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2012
    North of Seattle
    I free range mine during the day usually and they are often out in the "sun" or what we can call the sun here... today we had frozen rain and they didn''t have a problem with it! Just fluffed their feathers to get the little rain pellets out... it was kinda cute. I think they are just molting and tired... it has been a long winter and they did lay well for most of the winter. They deserve a break... except we have two friends who have asked us for eggs and we barely have enough for ourselves... I cringe at the thought of buying eggs at the store again!
     
  7. chickgarden

    chickgarden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 1, 2012
    I couldn't give our eggs away fast enough awhile ago, now I'm hanging onto what we've got left. I'm hoping it starts to get brighter and maybe we'll both start getting more eggs soon and won't have to buy any.
     

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