No one is laying....


14 Years
Jun 7, 2009
Brightwood, OR
My Coop
My Coop
9 hens, only 1 Olive Egger is laying. Granted 3 have not started yet (EE's,) should be soon. But the other 6.... 3 are 2years and went through a fall molt but have recovered ~ and 3 just started laying this summer and now 2(CCL's) have stopped as of a few weeks ago! Ugh. I've been supplementing protein treats a few times / week, oyster shells always available, I think they have great chicken lives so I'm stumped. I've been searching their free-range area and they are not hiding them. Any suggestions appreciated.... TIA.
Many aren't laying this time of year. Those older ones that stopped to molt generally won't resume until December to March depending on breed, and overall production. Young ones will lay at a decreased rate throughout winter with some breaks.

Hormones are dictated by increasing or decreasing light. Under decreasing light hormones wane. The original intention of egg laying is for reproduction. We have bred birds that will continue to lay throughout the year, but the the natural cycle does still persist. After the winter solstice daylight will increase, and hormones will start to rise again. Those that are in a good enough condition should resume laying.

It's taxing to produce eggs constantly. So many take breaks, especially during colder weather as reserves are used to stay warm.

It's important to make sure your birds continue to consume enough water during the cold months, as eggs are mostly water, and a decrease in intake will affect production.

Some people add extra lighting to bring birds back into production faster. It probably isn't as successful on low production hens, but I haven't done it so I'm not sure.
I've been searching their free-range area and they are not hiding them.
Hmmmm....Might want to check butts.

Then maybe confine them.
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/run for a week or so 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 and maybe run 24/7 for a few days to a week, provided you have adequate space and ventilation, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.

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