- Aug 17, 2010
My chickens quite suddenly all stopped laying about six weeks ago. About the same time their food consumption dropped to about a quarter or less of what it was previously. They all seem healthy, except Rooster has trouble standing up in the morning and often has to sit down during the day. One of the hens had a mild version of these symptoms but seems to be getting better. I feed them as I have always fed my chickens over the last 10 years - with about 4/5 of layer granules and 1/5 scratch grains. I let them out two hours a day to forage in the garden and forest. They have never had an issue like this. They all seem to be pretty happy but whereas before they were always ravenous in the morning, they seem only mildly interested in food now. I know for a fact they are not laying outside and hiding their eggs, as on two occasions I had to leave them locked up for three days at a time and there were no eggs on my return. I read about Marek's disease. But from what I can see there are no bumps or protrusions around the base of their feathers - two of them are moulting so that would be easy to spot. Most of the hens are two years old - a few are 3 years. Any advice would be most gratefully received.