Suggestions as to why my chickens are not laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by The Chicken Fan, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. The Chicken Fan

    The Chicken Fan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 4 BR and 5 RIR and am only getting 0-2 eggs a day and out of the same hens. I'm trying to figure out why the others aren't laying. They get plenty of sleep, food, water,and have a big fenced yard. I've looked to see if they've been laying in the yard but have found nothing. Only one of them is molting (can tell from all the feathers everywhere), and they have bright red combs. It's summer now and we've been having nice sunny weather. They will have been laying for 2 years in late September. I've considered everything, but am stumped. Any suggestions as to why they're not laying?
     
  2. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls Egg Grower Premium Member Project Manager

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  3. The Chicken Fan

    The Chicken Fan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was actually thinking could worms be a possibility? I don't see any in their poop, and no, I have never wormed them. I will check for mites next time I go out.
     
  4. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Most worms are not visible in poo (I think only round worms and tape worms are visible). A fecal float at the vet is usually around $15 and they can tell you which worms you need to treat for IF that's even it. Highly recommended. :) I would make a flock poo test, meaning collect sample from several girls and mush it into 1 specimen. :sick

    Also, the only mites I know you can see are red mites which do not live on the birds but in cracks of the wood and only come out to feed at night on the birds. So you would wanna check several hours after they have gone to roost. Scaly leg mites and feather mites are both invisible to the naked eye. :old

    You describe nice sunny weather... how hot? Heat often slows laying. Sometimes a predator visit could stop girls from laying.

    When you say plenty of food... what are you feeding (protein %) including treats and supplements? Plenty of sleep meaning you don't add extra light at night? Any recent changes to their feed or routine?

    Any possibility you have an (animal) egg thief or the girls discovered how tasty eggs are? :smack

    Checking for other possible parasites is a good idea as well. Best time again is after dark. If your chickens are hard to catch this is usually the easiest time of all. Keep light low and use a flashlight so everyone will stay calm and on roost. Hold the hen on her back, legs towards chest while you part the feathers near the vent and on the abdomen. Look for any crawlies running away. This is easier to do with 2 people. Also note if you notice any clumps near the base of feathers (might *look* like clumped dirt) as those are often eggs/nits. Head lice won't be on the body, only the head. And there are 3 types (that I know of), head, body, and feather. Note that while these may get on you, they are poultry specific and you do NOT need to worry about catching them or being infected. My personal recommendation for treatment if needed is Permethrin spray. It's easy to use, affordable, effective, safe and no egg withdrawal time if used as directed.

    Hope my info is helpful and you get eggs again soon! :fl
     
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  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Worms should not be the first conclusion to be drawn when a hen is not laying...and fecal testing should always be the first step in that direction, by somewhere that will report species, counts, and a suggested treatment if necessary.
    Space, diet, free ranging and hot weather are the first thing to look at when laying slows down.
     
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  6. zephyricle

    zephyricle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with aart, worms aren't the first thung the his worry about. Look at them for mites and check the higher food etc. Do thehioheirhey have enough oyester shells/grit? Do you see mites? What kind of food are they eating?
     
  7. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls Egg Grower Premium Member Project Manager

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    8.5 times out of 10 people will not spend the few bucks to get their chickens tested until they run into serious problems. 9.9/10 times those same chickens have a worm overload.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    They wouldn't know they had worm overload unless tested. Treating for parasites without knowing if and what they are can create resistance and/or complicate diagnosis of other problems. The knee jerk reaction of throwing chemicals at an animal without first assessing how their environment might be causing the problem is just not smart IMO.
     
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  9. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls Egg Grower Premium Member Project Manager

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    I meant that a lot of people...posting here on BYC..didn't know they had worm overloads UNTIL they actually did get the poop tested.
     
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  10. Chickassan

    Chickassan Overrun With Chickens

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    If one is molting they are probably all starting at least that's how it goes here. Nobody wants to be naked alone its a group activity in the chicken house.
     
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