stopped laying eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by aldarita, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. aldarita

    aldarita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My easter egger stopped laying eggs. She is a young pullet (8 months old) She is at the bottom of the pecking order and is constantly being pecked by the other hens, because of this she stays away from the others. She was laying about every other day but has not laid for about 2 weeks now. I wonder if the reason is stress of being pecked. She is not molting nor broody, she eats well, free ranges with the others and acts very normal so I don't think she is sick. Does anybody have any idea what has happened to her? She is a sweetheart and is a beautiful hen, I don't care if she does not lay anymore I just want to know if she is OK. Any ideas?[​IMG]
     
  2. americana-lover

    americana-lover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She is probably ok. She could just be stresses out because she is getting picked on. Is she molting? If so, she won't be laying until she is done molting.
     
  3. CluckAcres

    CluckAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could be your climate. Is it cold and snowy where you live?
     
  4. Falkenhof

    Falkenhof Out Of The Brooder

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    Stress is a big factor for some birds. Since they free-range, I doubt they would be bored enough to be excessively bullying her to the point it is the factor contributing to lack of egg production. Cooler weather can stop hens from laying. Some will stop completely, others will drop in production. I've a range of those types. My bottom of the pecking order hen is my best producer year round, but the others stop or slow now that its cooler. Maybe try turning on a light in their coop for an extra hour or two and see if that helps. Light and egg production are closely connected. If possible, make the coop a bit warmer.

    If she isn't showing signs of distress than she probably isn't ill. Check feed and her vent anyway to be sure. Other chickens would probably be sick if there was some sort of communicable illness. If she stops laying past the cold season, get her checked by a vet.

    If she isn't molting, given the time of year and her history of laying, its just the lack of light and coolness getting to her. I wouldn't worry too much, just keep an eye on her.
     
  5. aldarita

    aldarita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No she is not molting, she is on her first year of life and as I understand they start molting on the second, besides if she is molting I don't see bald spots on her or her color feathers around. Thanks for your answer, very much appreciate it.
     
  6. aldarita

    aldarita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We live in south central Texas, the coldest it has gotten so far is 27F for few hours at night, other than that it usually stays in the low 50s during the day and in the low 40s at night. I have just learned (thanks to all your answers) that low temperatures can be a factor in laying eggs. My EE girl might just be too sensitive to our winter temperatures, hopefully in spring she will start laying again.
    I have been debating about weather or not I should get one of those chicken coop heaters and install it in their coop just to keep temps at 40. I read all the posts about keeping chickens in cold weather and there are different opinions about heating or not heating the coop, of course some of them talk about subzero temps or very close to 0 F, that is too extreme for my liking, I would certainly heat the coop with those temps but if the coop gets above freezing (I am keeping track of the inside temps in the coop with a thermometer) is there still the need to heat it? what would be your opinion?
     
  7. aldarita

    aldarita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much for your input, I had no idea that low temperatures would influence a hen regarding egg laying. My other hens are laying as normal which is interesting because they have not been affected by the shorter days either. My EE might be just too sensitive to low temps, we shall see when spring comes. I have a thermometer in the coop, the lower temp has been so far 27F and is mostly in the low 40s, do you think I should warm the coop a bit for those nights when it gets bellow freezing? The heater that I had looked into which I believe is safe for the coop, will keep it around 40. My coop has good ventilation, so a light might not warm it very well.
     
  8. CluckAcres

    CluckAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A heat lamp light could do wonders. What you could do is leave the light on in the coop during the day and then shut it off at night. This will prolong their light hours plus provide the with heat. You could hook the light up to a timer so you wont have to worry about turning it on and off.
     



  9. Chickens won't molt until their second fall/winter.


    Actually, just cold won't affect laying a lot. Stress from the cold will affect laying, but the actual temp won't make a huge difference. Chickens are very cold hardy, and their feathers do an excellent job of keeping them nice and warm. A few hours of 27* shouldn't bother them all that much.

    Decreasing daylight hours are probably the cause. Your hens need 14 hours of daylight to keep up optimal production.Here in Kansas we are getting about nine. If you have electricity to your coop it should be easy to install a light. All you need is a 40 watt bulb for 100 sq ft or a 60 watt for 200+ sq ft. Make sure the light is at least 7 feet off the ground, and preferably somewhere where the chickens can't bump into it. I recommend getting a guard for it too.

    It could also be from stress. Even if you're free ranging some chickens will still beat up on others. Try giving her some time away from the flock everyday. Don't just lock her up in a cage, that will stress her out more. Put her in a nice big pen with some treats and something to play with, like a quarter flake of straw. Give her some time to just relax in a place where she knows she's safe. Preferably let her be in a place where she can see the others but they can't pick on her. Of course, if she acts scared and stressed let her back out, because it will only get worse.

    Also check her vent for mites, and under her wings and around her neck for lice.

    ETA: you could use a heat lamp if you want, but unless you have a really small, well insulated coop it won't make much more than 5-10 degrees difference..........
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013

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