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Out of ideas! - Still not laying!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tiffanya, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. tiffanya

    tiffanya Chirping

    Jul 10, 2010
    I have a mixed flock of birds, mixed breeds and 1.5 to 3 years old. They layed until mid summer and then all stopped! I haven't had a single egg for 2 months! Here are the things I've tried...

    changing feed
    increasing amount of feed
    cleaning out coop
    giving more oyster shells
    electrolytes in water
    apple cider vinegar in water

    What am I forgetting!? Some have molted in the last month or two but hardly any have laid for nearly 4 months! I'm about ready to start butchering because we can't afford to feed a flock of 15 if we aren't getting any eggs.

    My ducks are more temperamental layers but they too have stopped laying.

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I suspect they are hiding the eggs somewhere, or else the eggs are being taken by predators. This could even include your own flock. Also, could a human be taking them? Any chance you could borrow a game camera? I do think I'd stop changing their feed and water. Electrolytes shouldn't be added for any length of time, anyway.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  3. tiffanya

    tiffanya Chirping

    Jul 10, 2010
    They are nearly entirely in a run so would be no where to hide the eggs. I considered an egg eater, but that certainly doesn't explain why the ducks stopped laying also. On top of that, for about a month before they stopped laying all together I did have one hen lay off and on (I know it was the same one) and her egg was never eaten so... I haven't done a lot of changing of food, just went back to a type I had used in the past. Also have only added the electrolytes periodically (more when it was super hot this summer).
  4. Choco Maran

    Choco Maran Songster

    Jul 25, 2009
    Ribera New Mexico
    They will stop laying in the winter due to lack of light. They require on average abou t 12 to 14 hours of light to lay. Try to add light in the coop during the night this may help. If they are going though a light molt this can last for several months.
  5. tiffanya

    tiffanya Chirping

    Jul 10, 2010
    Is it normal for the molt to last for 4 months and include all of the birds at the same time? I've not had this happem before. I usually add light to keep them laying during the winter a bit, but they stopped laying this year in July.
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Older birds just don't lay all winter. Their bodies are designed to take a break. My older hens don't lay in the winter and start back in the spring. You can try a light to "fool" them into laying, but it doesn't work all the time. Their bodies just need a break. If you can't afford to feed them, you need to cull and start over with chicks or point of lay pullets.

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