Stopped laying all of a sudden

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cnd8, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. cnd8

    cnd8 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 8, 2014
    My hen started laying in October when she was approximately 6-7 months old. She has been laying eggs just about every day, only missing one day here or there. This week, she hasn't laid an egg in 3 days. She appears to be feeling normal, her stool is normal, and she is eating and drinking well. Anything that could cause this? Should I be concerned?
     
  2. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could she be molting? Seeing feathers lying about?
     
  3. cnd8

    cnd8 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 8, 2014
    I wondered that as well, from what I have read on here. But, NO feathers.
     
  4. micheleak

    micheleak Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 5, 2014
    A few of my girls are being spotty with their eggs due to stress of new girls. Could anything have happened to stress or startle her? Could a dramatic weather change cause that? Have you tried giving her crushed up shells or extra protein, maybe she's not feeling nutritionally balanced? I don't have an answer - just brainstorming!

    Question for the group, How long is too long for a young laying bird to go without an egg? Is there a point where it's unhealthy or is it normal?
     
  5. micheleak

    micheleak Out Of The Brooder

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  6. cstronks

    cstronks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Only 3 days of laying is not a cause for concern yet. If it is a molt, then the feathers don't necessarily drop immediately, so she could be starting the process. It seems late for a molt though, as the winter is practically over. Also, sometimes hens literally take a break. I have a hen that occasionally stops laying eggs for a week or two at some point during the year for resting purposes. She is 2 years old and it has happened 2 times already. This is natural and not a problem.

    Although the chicken looks healthy, you can certainly feel her to see if she is egg bound. Do this gently, as you do not want to break the egg. This condition is usually noticeable as the chicken will be walking like a penguin and not eating or drinking. I doubt this is the case, but you can still check if you want.

    For micheleak, every hen is different. Some hens can hypothetically stop laying at any point of their lifetime due to genetics, reproductive issues, etc. One of my hens began laying eggs at 10 months of age. Was this unhealthy? Not at all, because she has always been in perfect health, but it is what her body decided. Maybe she will stop laying early as well? If that is the case, then I'm sure she'll continue to be healthy. Unfortunately when caring for chickens, very few things are set in stone with egglaying, and you just have to chalk whatever loose end you find yourself at as a loss. If a bird doesn't lay because she is egg-bound, then it is unhealthy, but a bird that just stops is ok, otherwise her body would not have allowed her to cease egg production in the first place. There are outside factors that influence a birds laying - like stress - and the hen will start laying again whenever she feels comfortable. You won't be able to put a timetable on that. Just do what you can to make your flock happy and you shouldn't experience many issues.

    Hope this helps!
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
  7. micheleak

    micheleak Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 5, 2014
    Thank you - that puts things in perspective. I'm working on dialing up the happy again in the coop and just wanted to make sure I wasn't ignoring something that could be harmful!
     
  8. cnd8

    cnd8 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 8, 2014
    It has now been a little over a week since her last egg. Good appetite, normal behavior. Although she is not scratching in the dirt of her coop like she usually did. Also, yesterday she had a handful of feathers on the ground. Does this sound like the start of a molting? Our temps here in South Georgia have been sporadic, at best lately.
     
  9. puppies9099

    puppies9099 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i have a barred rock and she used to lay everyday until just one day she stopped that was a year ago now just today she layed one egg hope yours starts laying again
     
  10. samara1415

    samara1415 New Egg

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    Feb 13, 2014
    So I have been searching for hours now and haven't really got a answer.
    I have been seeing feathers lately in the nesting boxes. Didn't think anything of it until today. I got to see my hen walk in front of me and her behind was bare. No feathers, nothing!! I have been short an egg for the last 2 days. Usually I always get 4 for my 4 hens even with this horrible weather.
     

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