Not laying - reasons besides short daylight hours?

AmandaKyle

Songster
5 Years
Apr 13, 2014
385
57
131
Northeast
Our hens have no laid a single egg since the beginning of October. A few of them molted, but now everyone is fully feathered and looking healthy. There has been a supplemental light on in the coop consistently for at least 7 weeks from 2-7am. I have looked in the coop and run and see no evidence of eggshells or egg eating. Is there another reason that they would not lay? We have 12 layers and 2 pullets who are now around 25 weeks old. Help!
 

Happy Chooks

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Jul 9, 2009
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Once they grow their feathers back in, they have to get their body weight back up to a safe level before they can begin to lay eggs again. Be patient, they'll start laying again soon.
 

AmandaKyle

Songster
5 Years
Apr 13, 2014
385
57
131
Northeast
I don't mean to sound impatient, I'm just concerned that there is perhaps something going on other than the short daylight hours. This is our second winter with chickens. Last year they were laying with supplemental light. This year was their first molt, so I am not sure what to expect.
 
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oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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First year hens will lay through winter at a decreased rate. After the first year they molt in the fall, starting anywhere from August to December, most will resume laying by February and March, depending on breed and health, and recovery from the previous laying season and the molt. So your hens could resume laying from now until Spring, I have upped my birds protein by switching to an all flock ration and some have started laying though they lay every few days, not up to total production.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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@AmandaKyle I'm going thru the same thing....even with supplemental light started and carefully monitored since way back in late August,
most my yearlings went thru molt and only a couple are laying now....
.....one that never molted or stopped laying, a couple that have just started laying again in the last week.
And one that started a month ago for a week or so then stopped again due to stress of late night leg mite treatment(I think) then started again last week.

Good reason to hatch new pullets every late winter for eggs thru the next winter.

One thing that is consistent about chickens.....is their inconsistency, hahahaha!
 

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