Please Help! Need some of you chicken "Egg-sperts". I'm at a loss...

grlight

In the Brooder
Jun 25, 2020
9
6
16
Idaho
Good Morning! Here is what I have going on.

15 month old flock of Barred Rock chickens with a clean, roomy (8+ sq ft per bird), well lit and ventilated coop. Large fenced outdoor area. All well feathered and normal behavior. Poop is normal on all. They have free choice grit and oyster shell and, of course, food (all purpose flock - 19% protein) and water.

Once they began laying last fall, we were averaging 5 eggs per day from 6 hens from last autumn until mid-summer this year. Then egg laying began to taper off mid July until we would go a few days or so between any eggs. We just assumed it was a normal molting period (they did molt at that time) combined with the warmth.

Then about beginning of September it slowly built up to one or two eggs per day but sometimes nothing. Now, two days in a row with no eggs.

There is definitely no predator or disturbance (game camera in coop to confirm). No sign of anyone eating eggs at all. No changes to diet, environment, behavior, etc. They just have stopped laying eggs. We are at our wits end trying to figure it out.

Please, any help at all? Thanks!
 

grlight

In the Brooder
Jun 25, 2020
9
6
16
Idaho
Hens generally need 14-16 hours of light for laying. So as days shorten, production drops off.

First year layers often lay during the fall and winter, but that changes the next fall and winter.

Your girls are taking a bio vacation.
I should have mentioned that last winter as well as now, I have a light on a timer in the coop that keeps the days @ 16 hours. Basically I just set it in morning and evening to duplicate summer sunrise/sunset lighting hours.
 

grlight

In the Brooder
Jun 25, 2020
9
6
16
Idaho
Hey Everybody! I wanted to rejuvenate this thread because it is one month later and the situation has not improved.

18 month old flock of Barred Rock chickens with a clean, roomy (8+ sq ft per bird), well lit and ventilated coop. It is on 16 hour artificial lighting. Large fenced outdoor area. All well feathered and normal behavior. Poop is normal on all. They have free choice grit and oyster shell and, of course, food (all purpose flock - 19% protein) and water.

Once they began laying last fall, we were averaging 5 eggs per day from 6 hens from last autumn until mid-summer this year. Then egg laying began to taper off mid July until we would go a few days or so between any eggs. We just assumed it was a normal molting period (they did molt at that time) combined with the warmth.

Then about beginning of September it was one or two eggs per day but sometimes nothing.

There is definitely no predator or disturbance (game camera in coop to confirm). No sign of anyone eating eggs at all. No changes to diet, environment, behavior, etc. They just have stopped laying eggs. We are at our wits end trying to figure it out.

Please, any help at all? Thanks!

Does anybody know anything that may help?
 

grlight

In the Brooder
Jun 25, 2020
9
6
16
Idaho
Thanks guys for the thoughts. We'll investigate a bit.

Definitely no secret nest, though that is a good suggestion.

The birds are only 18 months and this time of year (at least where we are in Idaho) aside from hatching some, there are none to buy.

As for the lighting, we will investigate that. Last autumn prior to using lights to supplement the day length, all of our research showed it would be OK, but there may be something to what you suggest. We will definitely follow up on that.
 

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