Recent Egg Laying Problem - looking for advice

dadschicks

In the Brooder
6 Years
Jun 29, 2013
32
0
22
Los Gatos, California
Hi Friends,

I have four hens, about 9 months old. All have been laying regularly throughout the winter, but in recent weeks I have seen the egg laying dropping off. All are different breeds (barred rock, cinnamon queen, RIR and Easter Egger. My Easter Egger hasn't layed an egg in at least three weeks. She seems fine overall. From what I have seen she is still eating and drinking OK. I have inspected her and can't see anything amiss. Her feathers are clean and her vent area is not red or swollen. Really the only way that I can be sure that she is the one who isn't laying is because she is the only one who lays green eggs, yet I still see her on the nest sometimes.

I was getting 3-4 eggs per day and now only get 2-3. Should I be worried? Any ideas of how to get her to lay again?

Thanks for your help.
 

cnicho05

Chirping
5 Years
Feb 22, 2014
145
9
73
Owosso, MI
Hello,

It may be as simple as nutrient levels/weather or as complex as a bacterial infections. If nothing has changed in her environment, (e.g., weather, food, water,etc.) then I would not be worried about the problem. It would likely be her adjusting to the change. If nothing has changed, specifically weather related, then it might be linked to a health related problem. Since many health problems relate back to a bacterial infection I would strongly suggest you segregate this hen from your flock. This will hopefully stop the spread of anything which might harm your other hens.

Furthermore, I would monitor this hen very closely over the next couple of days. If she isn't laying in the next week I would suggest you find a local vet who can take a quick look at her. If anything does change you can also post pictures to provide a better description of what might be happening. At this point it could be one or more of a thousand problems...

Hope this helps...
 

dadschicks

In the Brooder
6 Years
Jun 29, 2013
32
0
22
Los Gatos, California
Thanks for your reply. There has been a but if a weather change since we switched the clocks forward. I also notice more feathers around than what I usually see. Think she could be molting? I have heard a bit about molting, but don't know what it really means or when or why it happens. Do they stop laying when they molt? Unfortunately I don't really have another place to put her. I will keep an eye on her for a few more days and if she doesn't lay, I will post some pics to see if that helps with diagnosis.

Debbie
 

cnicho05

Chirping
5 Years
Feb 22, 2014
145
9
73
Owosso, MI
Thanks for your reply. There has been a but if a weather change since we switched the clocks forward. I also notice more feathers around than what I usually see. Think she could be molting? I have heard a bit about molting, but don't know what it really means or when or why it happens. Do they stop laying when they molt? Unfortunately I don't really have another place to put her. I will keep an eye on her for a few more days and if she doesn't lay, I will post some pics to see if that helps with diagnosis.

Debbie
If there are a lot of feathers around their coop then she is likely molting. During this process chickens replace the majority of their feathers in an attempt to replace those damaged by weather or other chickens. This is important for chickens as their feathers keep them warm in the winter and cool during the summer. While in the process of molting chickens will typically stop the egg laying process. This lapse in egg laying can take a little as a few weeks or as long as a few months. Personally, I have never had a chicken molt longer than 2 weeks...but I've heard of other owners reporting the process took 2-3 months. Furthermore, I've also heard of chickens laying throughout the process of molting...but this is uncommon.

If she is loosing a lot of feathers I would simple believe is is molting. Therefore, I would not worry about removing her from the rest of your flock...but would strongly suggest you continue to keep a close eye on her. Like I said before, if anything changes include it on another post...

P.S. I like to recommend that you add additional feed supplements (can be purchased from TSC or Family Farm and Home) to help the process along. While I have never read/heard any actual scientific benefits for this I have personally noticed better feather development...
 

dadschicks

In the Brooder
6 Years
Jun 29, 2013
32
0
22
Los Gatos, California
Thanks again. I think I will go with that theory for now. Will post again if things change. I appreciate the input and will look into the supplements.
 
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