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One year old hen has not laid an egg in 6 1/2 months; all others are laying consistently

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by goldfishes, May 15, 2015.

  1. goldfishes

    goldfishes Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2014
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    I have one girl that molted in November last year. She stopped laying 11/1. It is now 6 1/2 months and not one egg! I expected this as I read up on what to expect when I first got into chickens. And my other easter egg girls started molting around December - February. Everyone has returned to laying except Tina. I have checked her for worms, mites, lice, prolapse, egg bound, illnesses. I cleaned out the coop top to bottom thinking it could be pests there. She is glossy, bright eyed, eats well and poops normally. She is in the middle of the pecking order, so she isn't picked on unless she tries to grab the last bite from the head chickens.

    I change the waterer daily, I feed the same feed for everyone. It is 17% protein laying pellets. They were getting scratch in the coldest months, but now they only get it once a week or so and no more than 1/2 cup for 6 girls. I give them veggies in late afternoon every other day. Just enough they can eat in a few minutes. They are allowed in the yard to scratch around when it's good weather supervised after work hours. I tried removing all treats and only feeding layer with grit and oyster shell always provided. No change.

    A little about this bird:
    She had an injury in July of last year with her comb. Nearly half of it was hanging off and bleeding, so we dubbed it and she recovered quickly.
    She would continue to lay after that but would stop when temperatures got above 80s. I figured it had something to do with not being able to regulate her body temp as well.
    She is louder than the others. She alerts the girls to all problems that arise. Almost like a watch chicken.
    She started squatting again mid March. I've seen her go into the nest box a few times last month but no egg resulted. She was practicing the egg song about 6 weeks ago.


    Any idea what might be going on? Will she ever lay again?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    To your last question, there's no way to know.
    Squatting is a desire to breed or submission to the flock master, not that ovulation is imminent.
    There's another issue now that she hasn't laid in 6.5 months and if you have been feeding layer pellets that whole time.
    4% calcium is very hard on the kidneys for a bird not laying eggs.
    They can continue to lay if they still have 2 functioning kidney divisions.
    http://nhjy.hzau.edu.cn/kech/synkx/dong/2bao/UrolithiasisChina.pdf


    http://poultryinfo.co.za/articles/Old/avian-urolithiasis-eng.pdf


    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/450/several-reasons-why-your-hens-may-stop-laying-eggs/
     
  3. goldfishes

    goldfishes Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2014
    WV
  4. allpeepedout

    allpeepedout Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you do not have a rooster, often a hen will assume this role, protecting the flock and even crowing. I believe they stop laying when this happens. You describe her as loud and as a watch chicken, so it sounds like she is focused on protecting the flock.

    If you do have a rooster, perhaps he is failing or insufficient?

    Just guessing, based on what you describe. Hens do seem to appreciate having a rooster, once he gets through that adolescent hormonal stage!
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Yes a grower or all flock feed for all the birds and never let them run out of oyster shell.

    I've been feeding my mixed flocks of roosters, hens and young birds grower feed for a couple years.
     
  6. goldfishes

    goldfishes Out Of The Brooder

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    I picked up a new bag of feed today for mixed flock. I filled up the oyster shell and will transition them over to the new feed for a few days to avoid stressing them. I'll report back if she ever lays.

    Allpeepedout - I wish that I could keep a rooster but I am in the city. We are allowed hens luckily so I am wondering if your scenario could have merit in my case. She definitely looks out for the other girls.
     
  7. allpeepedout

    allpeepedout Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Goldfishes, here is an article about hens with damaged left ovaries effectively undergoing sex reverse: http://www.backyardpoultrymag.com/spontaneous-sex-reversal-hen-just-become-rooster/

    In addition, if you search "hen taking on role of rooster" you'll find several discussions of hen taking on roo behavior to protect a flock without a roo. This seems to include crowing and even more development of comb and wattles, but it seems anecdotal. Wonder if you could sneak a tiny, very quiet banty roo into your flock?
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  8. Nofowlplay

    Nofowlplay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In the backyard
    my ss has not laid an egg in a month. She is about 2 years old but not quite. She looks and acts normally. She has always been at the bottom of the pecking order, but she has a buddy that is now broody and in the buster.
    It has been very cloudy and rainy almost all the time for the last 2 months. Their feed is good, a mix of mash, layer pellets and omega 3 crumbles. I was giving them a lot of high protein game bird food when another girl was molting but stopped that food when the feathers regrew.
    They have calcium free choice. Plenty of room, free range time.
    She had a bout of sour crop about 6 weeks ago but that cleared up with a little fixin.
    Any ideas? I would appreciate any input.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2015
  9. goldfishes

    goldfishes Out Of The Brooder

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    Today marks eight months without a confirmed egg. She still looks healthy, no signs of pests and is eating well. I read up on the article you gave me, allpeepedout and did the google search and it seems like one of those issues (ovary damage or taking on role of rooster) could be what is going on. I switched feeds to 18% mixed flock and cut out the scratch about six weeks ago. Still no luck. For now, I tell her every morning that she is lucky she lives with me or else she'd be stew. She just looks back at me blankly. :)

    Nofowlplay - I can only tell you that when I did a load of research trying to find out why my girl won't lay, I did run into several posts and a few articles about how one broody chicken can cause others to stop laying either because they need another nest box away from the brooder or because they are about to become broody themselves. Hopefully someone with more experience will chime in.
     
  10. goldfishes

    goldfishes Out Of The Brooder

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    Update!

    Sixteen months later on 3/2, Tina laid an egg!!!! She started molting in late December and a few months later, she started squatting again. Wanted to let those doing a search for the same issue that it is possible for a chicken to lay eggs again after such a long time. She isn't as consistent, but it's early days yet.
     

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