Stopped Laying! Help!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by toolbox003, Sep 24, 2016.

  1. toolbox003

    toolbox003 New Egg

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    Mar 4, 2016
    NE Kansas
    My main flock of 14 are mixed breeds, Sexlinks, barred rocks, Jersey Giants, a Buff, and White Plymouth, Production red and RIR. They are about 27 weeks old. They started laying in July and have up until recently been giving me on average 11 eggs/day. Last weekend, they all but stopped laying. I'm only getting between 1-3 eggs a day now. I have checked the girls for mites and lice; we rigged a light in the coop so they are getting 15 hours of light. They are getting a 18% all flock food and garden scraps. Add into this I also have 5 Wyandotte hens that are 23 weeks old and haven't seen an egg out of them yet either. The girls have a spacious outside run, and free range when we are home (coyotes got one of my girls so unsupervised free ranging doesn't happen anymore). I'm out of ideas.
     
  2. Adalida

    Adalida Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any chance they're laying their eggs while free ranging? I just found a nest of six eggs in my hay bales...somebody has been sneaking in there instead of using their nest boxes!
     
  3. toolbox003

    toolbox003 New Egg

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    Mar 4, 2016
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    They don't get to free range every day, but I have looked in the tall grasses they like to frequent, and no luck [​IMG]
     
  4. Tazbeaux

    Tazbeaux Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am having just about the same situation with my flock. I have 14 girls and for the past month have only been getting 1-3 eggs a day. Many of the girls are molting right now, so their energy is being focused on new feather growth instead of egg production. Are you seeing more loose feathers around in the coop and run than usual, or chickens that are looking a bit shaggy? It is just a phase and they will resume laying when they have their new winter feathers.
     
  5. 4x4Runner

    4x4Runner Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 20, 2016
    El Cajon, CA
    We only have 5 chickens and we have been getting 4-5 eggs a day. One when broody, broke her and than it was 3-4 eggs a day. All of a sudden I get maybe 1 a day now... I THINK 2 are molting because one has some weird feathers that look like fuzzy feathers and the other had sort of like cheek feathers which are gone now and you can see new feathers coming out. I can't figure out the rest. We have had hot days since we have had them and lately its been in the high 50's and 60's so maybe that is why?

    We have had eggs everywhere in our fridge and of course when we give them all away, they decide to stop. [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    So, a total of 19 birds that all grew up together...or did you add the Wyandottes?
    Did the egg drop happen about the same time you added the light?
    Are you providing a calcium source?
    How big are the coop and run, in feet by feet?
     
  7. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm guessing the drop off in eggs has something to do with the shortening days. Perhaps the eggs will resume after the effects of the artificial lighting kick in. Your chickens shouldn't be going through a real molt until this time next year, but the waning daylight would have its effect on them regardless.
     
  8. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 2, 2016
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    Shorter days, equals less eggs.
    Do they have plenty of space? How big is your coop and run?
    Stress from adding new birds into the pecking order?
    Are you provding oyster shell?
    Soft Molt, are you seeing more feathers than normal in the coop & run?
    All the above?

    You sure they aren't hiding eggs? Once one finds a nest, others normally join in. You will be amazed how tight a space they will get into to make a nest.
    Do your girls sing when they lay? Is the level of singing gone down too?
    My money is on a hidden nest. Look EVERYWHERE!
     
  9. toolbox003

    toolbox003 New Egg

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    Mar 4, 2016
    NE Kansas
    Our actual coop is 4ft wide by 10 ft long. The outer enclosed run is 10x12 with added roosting bars and at least part of every day they are in the outer uncovered run which is 25x16. I haven't notice my girls "singing" when they lay, but I'm not normally home during the day. The Wyandottes were added about when the older 14 were 16 weeks old but before anyone started laying, it was a rough introduction. We didn't add the light until after the drastic decrease in laying. I thought we had blocked everything under the coop; guess I'll have to take another peek under there!
     
  10. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 2, 2016
    Mobile, AL
    Your cop is plenty big.
    But 19 hens in 10'x12' for most of the day is tight.
    Really tight.
    I have about the same size run for 5 hens.
    This may not be the cause, but I would think about adding a top to the 2x16 area so they can use the whole area all day.
     
    1 person likes this.

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