Sudden laying after 4-5 month hiatus?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by campchickens, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. campchickens

    campchickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 8, 2015
    Central Virginia
    I have searched and searched, but cannot figure out exactly what to Google to learn about my curious situation, and cannot find my answer on these boards!

    I have 12 hens (all about 2 years old), formerly a flock of 15 which used to lay about a dozen eggs a day. The previous caretaker was not always on top of food and hydration, and coupled with some heat waves last summer, they had pretty much stopped laying all together. I took over the flock just after Labor Day. Consistent care has slowly but surely improved egg laying, though it dropped off again after daylight saving ended, and further when winter came. Still, I get 3-4 eggs a day right now.

    Through all of this, I never saw one lovely blue-green egg from my Ameracauna-- until this past week. Now, she's laying almost daily.

    The question: why would she suddenly start again after months of not laying? Food and water have been consistent, as well as time out of the coop free ranging and coop cleanliness. She never showed signs of illness or injury as best I could tell. Any thoughts?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Frequently after a cycle of laying (as much as 18 months) hens will molt and take a break. Couple this with the neglect prior to your takeover, and it's not surprising that the flock took a break. The Ameraucana ( very likely an EE) simply took a little longer to regain condition and start laying again.
     
  3. campchickens

    campchickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 8, 2015
    Central Virginia
    Her original paperwork as a chick said Ameracauna, but yes, definitely an EE. She never molted though, unless she could somehow be stealthy about it? I anticipated a mass molt since they're all the same age but only a few of them appeared to...

    Thanks so much!
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Yeah, almost all chicks sold from hatcheries or TSC type suppliers that are called Ameraucanas are indeed EE. Some hens have a full blown/go naked type of molt while others drop a couple of feathers at a time and molt over a longer period of time. Perhaps she is one of the latter sort.
     
  5. sweetbeak

    sweetbeak Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have the exact same problem, 14 hens and now 3 eggs a day. My EE is molting so I know why she's not laying but for the past two days I have had 2 very soft small broken eggs. I'm in Australia so it's hot here now but we have had terrible thunder and lightning storms for the past 2 nights. Could this spook them or maybe some of them are just starting up laying again with soft eggs? I will be getting shell grit today so hopefully that helps
     

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