No eggs!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Izanata, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. Izanata

    Izanata Hatching

    Nov 7, 2018
    I am totally stumped here. I have 15 hens of varying ages. The oldest are 4, the youngest are a little over 1 year old. The older girls had slowed down in egg production but the younger girls were laying regularly. Located in Indiana. They have a large coop and pen. They eat organic feed and get fruits and vegetables. I give them scratch and corn for treats but not every day. They appear healthy, no one is broody. All was fine until I changed their nesting boxes. They had 6 open boxes and I switched them out for a 6 hole metal covered nesting box. Now they are on strike and have not laid an egg since. It has been two weeks. I put a couple of fake eggs in the boxes but they didn't fall for that. I have seen a few of them in the boxes but they don't lay. Whats up?
    ronott1 and alexa009 like this.
  2. alexa009

    alexa009 Crossing the Road

    Apr 6, 2017
    My Coop
    Molting and weather conditions could be a factor, most chickens stop producing at this time of season.
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    :welcome Are they free ranged, and is there any possibility they have hidden nests ? It is the time of year when older hens tend to molt and take a break in their laying schedule.
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Waiting on a Fresh Garden Salad

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    This time of year most will stop laying. Most will resume December to March.

    What's the protein content on your ration? With all that extra stuff I recommend you feed a higher protein ration to offset them. Daily minimum requirements are 16-18%. Adding lower protein extras will leave them deficient.
    Aceoky, puffypoo, aart and 2 others like this.
  5. Izanata

    Izanata Hatching

    Nov 7, 2018
    Their feed is 18% protein. It just seemed weird that all was good until I changed the box and suddenly not one egg. And no, no hidden nests. They aren't free, just have a nice sized pen.
  6. adstowe

    adstowe Songster

    Aug 8, 2016
    The season absolutely can stop laying. Trust me, I have 12 layers and only got 3 eggs today. A lot of it is probably what you're already hinting at though. Chickens HATE change (I'm not much better). If you changed their nesting boxes it could take them some time to get used to them before they will start laying again. Of course, it's entirely possible it's a combination of the two and you may be short on eggs for a while.
  7. Lupulin

    Lupulin Hatching

    Nov 8, 2018
    My wife and I are in a similar situation only much worse and even more puzzling!!!

    We have 6 layers all different breeds. For the first 1 1/2 years they all laid eggs like crazy. Then, over the course of about 2 months they dramatically slowed down and over the past 4+ months we have hardly gotten any eggs at all! I've read lots of the "reasons hens stop laying" articles on the web but can't seem to pin our particular problem on anything obvious.

    They are each different breeds and were great layers for 1 1/2 years. Their environment has not changed. Their diet has not changed. Their behaviors and appearance hasn't changed. They stopped laying months ago - in early summer, so it can't be simply seasonal/sunshine changes (besides they laid all through the winter last year - we keep a timed light in the coop). They've all gone through molting (at different times for each chicken) and the cessation pre-dated the molts. They don't seem stressed. Never seen any brooding behaviors. They always laid in the coop and we have checked in the yard but found no hidden nests. No evidence of egg eating behaviors that we have seen. No lice or mites. No evidence of sickness (at least no symptoms).

    We are at our wits end!

    A friend of mine who also has chickens said this happened to him also, similarly at around year 2. He assumed this is what happens as chickens get older, so he now cycles through new chickens every 2 years, but I've never seen anything about this type of thing in online resources. We love out chicks and won't be able to bring ourselves to get rid of them, but we also miss our eggs. Wish we could do something to get the gals laying again.

    ANY ideas????
    oldhen2345 likes this.
  8. ronott1

    ronott1 A chicken will always remember the egg

    Mar 31, 2011
    Woodland, CA
    My Coop
    Hens need light to lay eggs. Not laying eggs is a combination of age and daylight hours.
  9. ronott1

    ronott1 A chicken will always remember the egg

    Mar 31, 2011
    Woodland, CA
    My Coop
    first year pullets will lay through the winter. Second year most will molt and stop laying. There are some breeds that are winter layers, like austrolorps and rocks but they will slow down with egg laying the second and subsequent winters.

    The good news is that egg laying will pick up quickly in the new year
  10. puffypoo

    puffypoo Like Machine

    Oct 3, 2015
    Chickens actually do slow down in productions after 2 years so that might be it. But they shouldn’t completely stop.

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