Sudden stop in laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by erinnyes, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. erinnyes

    erinnyes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 28, 2011
    Hi! Me again! [​IMG] So I have this Red Star hen that has always laid an egg a day, like clockwork. She'd skip maybe a day a week but she was pretty reliable.

    Then suddenly, NO eggs at all. This has been going on for weeks! I checked her, looked at her vent and felt her belly. Nothing seems abnormal there, but then I am also new to chickens and may not recognize more subtle signs of problems. I've seen pictures of egg-bound chickens and think I could recognize THAT, and besides which her behavior is normal and she seems healthy. She has not been stressed and forages with the other chickens normally during the day. I know that many chickens will slow down and stop laying during winter, but to SUDDENLY stop like that seems odd to me? Or is that more normal than I think?

    Is there anything that might cause this that you guys know of? Or could she maybe have just picked a new spot to lay her eggs and hidden them? The whole flock is free range but I have spent hours following them and I've never found her "stash".

    Please help! Thanks!
  2. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    It's not unusual for them to stop suddenly. She could certainly be taking a winter break or molting. Did you change anything before this started? Add a new chicken, take some away, change the food, move things around in the coop, different bedding in the nest boxes, etc? Sometimes weird things can put them off.
  3. michiele

    michiele Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2011
    Broken Arrow, OK
    I have a pullet that did this same thing. She laid for about 6 weeks and then just stopped. I think she is just taking a break because she is happy and healthy looking. Maybe the same thing for yours:)
  4. erinnyes

    erinnyes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 28, 2011
    Oh... well now that you mention it, right before she stopped laying I did clean out the coop and put new bedding in the nest boxes! I changed the nest box material from straw to orchard grass hay because some of my hens seemed fussy about it and were kicking the straw out of the boxes. That must be what happened that made her stop laying though!

    Thanks for the advice! [​IMG] Hopefully she'll get started again when spring rolls around!

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