Not laying for 4+ months

mmcshelly4

Hatching
Nov 19, 2021
4
3
7
I must be overlooking something, yet I feel like I’ve tried everything. All our hens stopped laying in July. It’s now November. At first I thought maybe they were going to molt, but they didn’t. Then I thought maybe the hot summer weather was causing them to stop, but as the weather cooled to 60-70s (usually perfect laying weather) they didn’t start laying. We haven’t changed their food. We aren’t aware of any stressors. We treated them for mites (just in case), dewormed them, and deep cleaned the coop. They all seem healthy and happy. Combs are red and standing up. Feet and feathers look good. They’re eating and drinking. They get plenty of sun (although now they get less as winter is approaching). We give them mealworms a few times each week as treats. They’re all of laying age (1-3 years). I can’t figure out why they all stopped! Any ideas?
 
Sep 30, 2021
361
861
181
Utah
Did you leave for vacation at any point? Change their setup somehow? Add new birds? Sometimes dumb things will make them stop but I have never had a stressor stop them for four months. I did have a hen who quit for a month (maybe more) after I got her and a raccoon attacked the next day. I gave her away so I don't know how long she would have kept it up. Wish I could be more help
 

mmcshelly4

Hatching
Nov 19, 2021
4
3
7
Did you leave for vacation at any point? Change their setup somehow? Add new birds? Sometimes dumb things will make them stop but I have never had a stressor stop them for four months. I did have a hen who quit for a month (maybe more) after I got her and a raccoon attacked the next day. I gave her away so I don't know how long she would have kept it up. Wish I could be more help
Thanks for the reply. I can’t think of anything, but who knows! Maybe something seemingly silly threw them off. I wish I could figure out what!
 

LaFleche

Meadow Devil
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Sep 22, 2012
7,980
29,772
952
Germany
Hidden nests or someone else taking the eggs.
You can check if they are laying by feeling their pelvis bones, which are situated either side of the vent. With non laying hens these bones are very close together and in laying hens you would be able to put at least one, more often two fingers between them.

Set up a coop camera to see who is taking your eggs. Many animals love to eat eggs: cats, dogs, foxes, hedgehogs, snakes, weasels, crows, ravens, magpies ... the list goes on.
 

mmcshelly4

Hatching
Nov 19, 2021
4
3
7
Hidden nests or someone else taking the eggs.
You can check if they are laying by feeling their pelvis bones, which are situated either side of the vent. With non laying hens these bones are very close together and in laying hens you would be able to put at least one, more often two fingers between them.

Set up a coop camera to see who is taking your eggs. Many animals love to eat eggs: cats, dogs, foxes, hedgehogs, snakes, weasels, crows, ravens, magpies ... the list goes on.
Oh this is great info. We need to set up a camera. And I’m going to check their pelvic bones. Thank you!!!
 

PopoMyers

Songster
Aug 19, 2020
333
608
206
Kitsap, WA
Hidden nests or someone else taking the eggs.
You can check if they are laying by feeling their pelvis bones, which are situated either side of the vent. With non laying hens these bones are very close together and in laying hens you would be able to put at least one, more often two fingers between them.

Set up a coop camera to see who is taking your eggs. Many animals love to eat eggs: cats, dogs, foxes, hedgehogs, snakes, weasels, crows, ravens, magpies ... the list goes on.
Good to know. Half of my 9 girls are molting, or near finished, but not laying again yet. We now have long nights. Another month before it starts lengthening. My other girls don't seem like they are going to molt? They are all 1.4 years old. Will they eventually molt?
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
18,205
36,945
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
My other girls don't seem like they are going to molt? They are all 1.4 years old. Will they eventually molt?

The ones that haven't molted should molt at some point this winter, or possibly could've molted already (but so sparsely all over that it's not really noticeable unless you're looking for it).

My birds don't resume laying after molt until days start lengthening again, even if the molt happens early (i.e. July/August), due to the noticibly shortened daylight hours in the PNW.
 

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