Our chickens stopped laying - Help!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by OldMcAndy, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. OldMcAndy

    OldMcAndy In the Brooder

    Apr 12, 2012
    Inverness FL
    Our chickens have completely stopped laying and we have no idea why! Hoping you all can help!

    We have about 30 chickens that were free-ranging until we noticed the amount of eggs we were getting everyday was decreasing. Thinking they were preferring to lay in the woods, we put them all in the coop so they wouldn't have a choice, but 4 weeks later and we are getting zero eggs! They are fed layer feed everyday (basically all they can eat), fresh water, clean laying boxes and hay, they all look healthy, bodily functions appear normal, and they're all a variety of ages (from six months to 2 years).

    We cannot figure out why NONE of them are laying.

    Any ideas or thoughts would be appreciated! We miss our fresh eggs!
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2012
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Since you now have them confined it may be stress that's affecting them. Have you looked at the sticky "Why aren't my chicken laying?" At the top of this forum section.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012
  3. We're having a similar problem ... we have 5 red sexlink hens (RIR/Delaware) that are 2 1/2 years old and 3 RIR that are four months old (2 female/one male)....at first glance our best guess is all the reasons listed could be the culprit...hidden eggs, predator, lice/mites, diet, weather, stress ... yikes not sure where to begin...they all look pretty healthy/stree free!!!
  4. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Songster

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    I disagree with the confinement theory. It's been 4 weeks. They should be well adapted to "the coop life".

    I am having the same issue here. 30+ birds, some new, some older, some molting, but yesterday, I got 1 egg...2 today and this has been going on for weeks now. I was thinking it was the feed myself, that they had changed it or something. Mine have the ability to free range, but prefer to stay close to the coop and close to the feed. IDK what is going on...hopefully someone will have some ideas for us.

    I know that the dayilght hours are less and can be a contributing factor, but I myself have a light in my coop. Do you? If not, perhaps that would help, but I think there's something more going on here. I've NEVER had so many birds and so few eggs.
  5. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    After four weeks as said, they should have become used to it, as it is their home coop. However it may be a mite small for long term confinement.
  6. We don't have a light so I guess I can start with that, although we've always gotten eggs daily despite the change in daylight (even during the shortest days of winter)...our chickens don't free range...they have a 50 X 25 run area so they have plenty of area to move about ... I have noticed that the wood shavings in the coop are a bit damp so I will replace it today and check for mites and lice which will be a first for me...like you I'm getting one egg here n there and I miss getting them daily!!!!!
  7. mommto3kiddos

    mommto3kiddos Songster

    Mar 9, 2011
    We are having the same issue too! Per another posters idea Im adding back some golfballs into the nest to see if I can urge them to lay again. GL and I hope your girls kick in again soon! I was spoiled getting so much eggs over the years. I might have to actually buy my first dozen from the store in over 2 years.. :(
  8. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    They are probably molting - how old are they? They cannot lay eggs while they are molting. They need all their protein for growing feathers and staying alive. Once their feathers have grown back in, then they get their body weight back up - then eggs start coming again.
  9. theeggfarmgirl

    theeggfarmgirl Hatching

    Aug 12, 2012
    I am having this same problem...I just now thought about mites...will check for that. Does anyone know of a natural way to treat mites? I am not one to use chemicals on my girls. Some of my hens are molting, so I know they aren't laying....since they need more protein when molting, what do the rest of you folks do to increase their protein intake? Our hens stay in the large coop/run during the early part of the day, and around 5 or so, we open up the gates until dark. So I do know they are out eating all sorts of bugs...and that's protein. Is there anything else I can do to increase their protein?

    This lack of eggs has been distressing to me, and to many of my customers, as I just don't have as many eggs to sell right now. Any ideas to get them laying again will be so appreciated!!
  10. yinzerchick

    yinzerchick Songster

    Jun 13, 2011
    I know this is gonna sound nuts, but, I actually found it on an old thread here. Try adding some black pepper to their food. Lots of it. I tried this a couple months ago, and it really did seem to help. I made them a nice big treat of either rice cooked with goat milk, or cooked ramin noodles (I use 1/2 the water the directions call for) and peppered the heck out of it. I did that every day for about 5 or 6 days. Then, I started putting cyanne pepper all over the feed in the feeders about once every couple months. (suppose to help keep them worm free) The poster said to make it so the feed looked "rusty". I got those big containers of black and cyanne pepper from Sams Club. I'll try to find the tread and post a link to it.

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