Stopped laying eggs should I be worried

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sophiejw, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. sophiejw

    sophiejw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 2, 2010
    My red hen (rhode island red type from egg farm) has stopped laying for the last few days. She normally lays a big egg nearly every day.
    She was egg bound about a month ago, I held her over warm water and she passed a shell and then a shelllless egg. Was fine after that though. Just in the last few days she's not laid at all, though I've seen two lots of yellow in the bedding which I assume was shellless eggs. She regularly gets chicken grit, and though their run is just soil (they trashed the grass), they all get out into a grassy field for a couple of hours a day so I think they are getting enough greens. They get leftover salad and veg too.
    She is about 18 months old and seems perfectly happy. They all seem to have reduced laying in the last few days, don't know if it's anytning to do with the weather we've had (hot, then cold and rainy now hot again). We had a party in the field at the weekend and lots of kids were looking at them in their run, don't know if that spooked them, they're usually pretty tolerant and regular layers.
    Any thoughts appreciated on what the problem might be and what I could do to help if anything:)
     
  2. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2009
    Seattle
    Do you offer them crushed oyster shell, free-choice? It is important, if they feed on anything besides layer feed. That means, foraging & treats. Unless you've had your soil tested and it has an adequate calcium level, they need the calcium carbonate in OS to balance the other stuff they are eating. Egg-binding and internal egg breakage can be fatal.
     
  3. sophiejw

    sophiejw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 2, 2010
    Hello, yes the chicken grit we get from the farm contains ground sea shells apparently (I've just been and read the packet!).

    They've got a load of it in their run so can have as much as they want. That's why I was wondering what the problem was since they get the grit which includes the ground shells [​IMG]
     
  4. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2009
    Seattle
    So, it could be the weather then. Sudden or intense heat will stress a laying hen. She needs to regulate her body temp, so she'll often stop eating much feed, thus reducing her calcium and protein intakes. Her blood acid-base balance changes, she may pant, and all these things and more negatively affect her ability to maintain adequate egg production and calcification of egg shells, while she focuses on staying alive. Give her extra cool fresh water, shade, and a place to relax in a breeze, if possible. The weather is stressful for these large and feathered birds. Once the temps are more comfortable, she'll likely start laying good shelled eggs again.
     
  5. sophiejw

    sophiejw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 2, 2010
    Thanks for that, both very informative. The great news is she laid an egg today [​IMG]

    Fingers crossed she's back to her usual self
     

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