Non reproducing laying hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by BonnLBP, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. BonnLBP

    BonnLBP Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 21, 2012
    Currently I have 3 laying hens but only 2 of them are are laying. For the longest time (about 6 months) they suddenly stopped laying. It was from the warm California heat through the cooler New Year. They suddenly are slowly beginning to lay again. Does anyone have any other idea why they stopped laying for a while? They all stopped laying and they aren't even 2 years old yet.
  2. Not enough daylight probably. Mine haven't been either. I wouldn't worry ;)
  3. delisha

    delisha Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 13, 2012
    Racine, WI -
    My Coop
    Molt..they should do it once a year...the body needs to recover.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Hens usually molt around 18 months old. In your warm weather, the molt may have been pretty light and you might not have really noticed it. Then, they usually take the winter after that off, and start laying again the following spring. I've noticed my older birds are starting to lay again, after being on hiatus for the winter. They'll pick up steadily, then molt again in the fall and usually quit for the winter. It's their natural way.
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    All the above comments are most likely what you're dealing with.
    Other things could be involved - stress from predators, nutrition/water, disease/parasites, etc..
    One way to avoid a hiatus is to go the route of the commercial operations and get egg hybrids, let them kick out all their eggs in 18 months, cull them and start over. Most small holders and byc people don't do that and accept that for healthy happy birds and high quality eggs they will go through that yearly lull in production.
  6. hedddo

    hedddo New Egg

    Jan 18, 2013
    I also live in California, relate to the very hot summer, and am experiencing the same thing. I've had chickens for years, so don't believe that the egg drop off is attributed to lack of light or molting. Let's hope that they are taking an especially long "hiatus" and production will pick up with Spring weather.
  7. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Agree. I am also in California. Most of my hens started molting as soon as the weather started to cool and all stopped laying. They are just now starting up again. If you want to help decrease this down time you can consider putting a light in the coop to extend daylight hours. I have not done it myself but it works well for lots of people.

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