Not Laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kudzu vine, May 20, 2010.

  1. kudzu vine

    kudzu vine Chillin' With My Peeps

    106
    1
    121
    Oct 4, 2008
    Olive Branch MS
    I have 2 Buffs, 4 Barred Rocks and Betty, a buff/bantam mix. Betty lays most every day, but the others - NOTHING. They are around 2 yrs. old and never really layed. They're fed cracked corn, laying pellets, oyster shell and free range in a large fenced area every day. I'm ready for them to go, but can't figure out why they are not laying. Any ideas?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,270
    3,564
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I've got a few ideas, but these articles and the thread may give you more clues.

    Virginia Tech – Stopped Laying
    http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/2902/2902-1097/2902-1097.pdf

    Florida – Stopped Laying –
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/ps/ps02900.pdf

    Missing eggs thread
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=190121

    I think since you are consistently getting one egg from one hen, the odds of a predator or a chicken eating them is not real high. It is still possible, but why would they eat all but one? I think that is a good sign.

    Since they are free ranging, my first guess is that they are hiding them on you. How big is that fenced area they are roaming in? Any good hiding places?

    You state they have never laid. Hens that age should lay quite a bit. How long is never? A few days, a few weeks, several months? Some hens can finish a molt in two or three months and some take five or six months. During a molt, they either shut down or cut way, way back in laying.

    How sure are you of their age? Hens two years old are right about their prime in laying. Even at four years of age, you should be getting a few eggs each week from them. If they are six or seven years old, they do cut way, way back.

    It is possible they have a disease and Betty is immune to that disease. The articles cover that.

    If they are getting large amounts of cracked corn compared to the layer pellets, that will reduce the laying, but it will not stop it completely. You should still be getting some eggs from them. It has not stopped Betty from laying.

    I strongly suspect that they are hiding them from you. Yuo might leave them locked up for a day or two to see if you get any eggs from them.

    Good luck! This one can be easy or it can be real challenging.
     
  3. kudzu vine

    kudzu vine Chillin' With My Peeps

    106
    1
    121
    Oct 4, 2008
    Olive Branch MS
    Thanks for your input. It's a pretty large, wood fence area, but I've looked everywhere. I make sure the laying pellets is much more than corn. Betty is probably around 5 years old - but she's consistent. I'll look at the sites. After all the years of having chickens, this bunch is really a puzzle. I don't think they're eating the eggs, since Betty's is always still there. Thanks so much.
     
  4. kudzu vine

    kudzu vine Chillin' With My Peeps

    106
    1
    121
    Oct 4, 2008
    Olive Branch MS
    I searched the yard over again - no eggs. One thing I noticed, about two months ago I moved them to the fenced back yard. There is a 12x12 building, which I divided with a door for them to exit. I've noticed that some like to stay on roost to mid-day. The weather here in N. Mississippi is nice in the 70's and 80's. I don't know why they want to stay in there.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by