Stopped laying eggs?

Denisea3465

Chirping
May 28, 2017
46
31
71
We have 15 hens who were laying eggs like crazy since March. One went broody a Month ago, then three more went Broody about two weeks ago. The rest seem normal but have suddenly stopped laying for the most part. I am lucky to get 3 eggs a day. Is this a normal down wave after them having laid so many in March, April, and the first two weeks of May?

The weather has been chilly, they have free range and plenty of water. No predators that I know of, no eggs hidden in the bushes. Could the broodies be scaring them off? Because they cause a major ruckus when the other ladies try to go in the coop. I would move them but haven’t got anywhere else for them to be.
 

SueT

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
May 27, 2015
9,578
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SW MO
The broodies could be forcing the others to lay in hidden nests. I don't think you can definitively say they don't have hidden nests. You'd be surprised where the eggs may be.
What I've done is lock everyone in the coop/run until I find out if they are really laying or not. They won't like it, but if you want the eggs, you may have to resort to this.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
6,014
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USA
Could the broodies be scaring them off? Because they cause a major ruckus when the other ladies try to go in the coop. I would move them but haven’t got anywhere else for them to be.

That might be it.
Could you put the broodies in dog crates or something?

Or maybe put in some extra nests on the other side of the coop, even if the extra nests are just cardboard boxes on the floor.
 

Denisea3465

Chirping
May 28, 2017
46
31
71
I created a divider in the coop and moved the broodies into it and sort of locked them in for a day so that they wouldn't abandon their eggs (I gave them water and food of course!). They stayed and the other hens went back to laying happily so I guess that was the problem. Thank you for your advice!
 

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