Not Paying Rent!

Mar 27, 2018
40
20
54
East Tennessee Mountains
Help! I've seen many threads on this as of late but I figured I'll ask again since my situation sounds a little different.

The girls have completely stopped laying. They are less than a year old (all born in March). Before a few weeks ago, I was getting about 3 eggs a day from 4 chickens, now, ZERO! My neighbor said they are molting, but I thought they were too young to start molting.

Can anyone identify what is going on, and/or how to fix it? :)
 

townchicks

Free Ranging
Dec 1, 2016
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Contra Costa county, Ca.
It might be the daylight hours. Not all chickens lay through the winter their first year. Mine didn't. You can add light in the morning to see if that helps. They need 14 to 16 hours of daylight. It may take a week or two for them to start up again, if that was the problem. Personally, I like mine to take a rest from laying, they may last longer, in the end. We'll see, lol.
 

coach723

Free Ranging
6 Years
Feb 12, 2015
6,551
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North Florida
It is possible that they are molting, there is a very broad range of normal in molting. Look them over carefully for any pin feathers coming in, most obvious usually around the head/neck, under the wings, and around the vent. Handle them gently as molt can make them uncomfortable and the new feathers can be sensitive, they usually don't like being handled much during this time. If you find pin feathers then it's molt. Generally birds will start doing an annual molt once they are about 18 months old, but younger birds do molt. It may not be as heavy a molt, or may be only a partial molt, but it will still stop them laying until it's complete. Any stress can interrupt laying also, so look around for any other factors. Even a predator hanging around the coop at night can be enough to interrupt laying for a time.
 

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~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~
Aug 18, 2017
5,547
19,910
707
Caliente Nevada
Happens in winter. Mother Nature knows they need the protein (normally spent on eggs) to keep them warm. If they’re molting up their protein. Day light hours signal winters coming and they conserve resources to stay warm.
Here’s the weird thing. It’s 12 degrees right now. We get about 10.5 hours of daylight. And mine are still laying strong.
Chickens are amazing creatures.
 

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